Review of ‘Birthright’ by Kelvin White and Bruce Russell ****

Trung Nguyen, a South Vietnamese refugee taxi driver, witnesses men unloading a body onto a trolley … and is mugged for it. On the way to the airport, he tells Detective Sergeant Edwards about the incident. Bored sorting through old cases, Edwards decides to do some investigating. Called to pick up Alan Duffy, Trung spots one of the men who mugged him. Duffy, a WWII bomber pilot, is running an organ harvesting operation in Vietnam and shipping drugs to Australia under cover of his funeral business. Things began to unravel when his former bombardier and estranged granddaughter show up. Duffy conveniently eliminates the bombardier, but stops short at killing his granddaughter. Edwards has enough superficial evidence to go after Duffy’s drug smuggling operation, but is sidelined by his corrupt police chief. Undeterred, he and his team pursue the case. Things never work out as planned, though.

With Birthright, Kelvin White and Bruce Russell weave an intricately plotted story that captures interest from the first page. The large cast of characters, frequent chapter skipping, and historical flashbacks, makes it initially difficult to follow what is going on, or relate to any principal character, as there isn’t one. However, this compelling story and the evolving relationship between the protagonists, demands turning the next page. The authors provide a wealth of local detail and unfold the novel with good dialogue and narrative. Unlike with many whodunits, Birthright is not predictable and closely guards the developing plot, which makes for a gripping read. Greater character development would make this book an outstanding crime thriller, but readers will nevertheless walk away satisfied.

This book is available on Amazon.

About Kelvin White

I am a Western Australian author born in Perth and living most of my life there. Like so many authors, my background is littered with various careers: taxi driver, musician, roof tiler, shoe salesman, and others when young. Being an avid reader prompted my desire to put pen to paper. I have three self-published novels, the first, ‘Oh, How We Rocked’, my musical memoir published 2021. This sold quite well in local Perth and Fremantle bookshops, as well as internationally in on-line outlets. My ‘Spencer Marlowe’ adventure stories, ‘The Singapore Saga’ and ‘The Hawaiian Intervention’, published in 2021, have sold in twelve countries and received excellent reviews. I have a fan base for my Marlowe series, encouraging me to write sequels. The next novel in the series, ‘The Manhattan Sting’, will be published early 2024. My latest story, ‘Birthright’, a crime novel, is a change of direction and draws on my experience as a Perth taxi driver in the 1990’s.

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