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Green Shoots by Ben Westwood
The Constant Gardener meets Dexter – Green Shoots is a story of grief and revenge, a gripping crime thriller with an ecological heart. Brought back from the brink of suicide by a mysterious phone call, grieving journalist John Adamson is desperate to uncover the truth about his wife Christina’s death in South America. The man on the phone gives John clues to what really happened, but also tips him off to investigate a spate of deaths of businessmen, all found with the same cryptic message: “Out of their ashes, green shoots will grow.” From the protest-filled streets of London to the ravaged jungles of Ecuador, John is unwittingly drawn into a lethal plot, but who is behind these murders and what is the connection to his wife’s death?
Green Shoots by Ben Westwood is a notable, absorbing, thrilling story of grief, revenge, suspense and the quest to discover the truth even in the face of imminent danger and death. Set in the beauty of the Ecuadorian culture, flora, and fauna, everything collides with the mystery, criminal activity, political intrigue, and exhilarating action scenes in this most incredible, original and brilliant story.
John Adamson is seconds from intentionally sending his car careening off a cliff to end his pain when he receives a mysterious call that changes everything.
John Adamson is deeply grieving the loss of his young wife to a sudden bout of dengue fever; a death so sudden that he’s still processing the memories and the loss. When an encrypted USB drive arrives at his office, the phone call and text he’d received the night before becomes a daily communication. This unknown man who calls himself a private investigator begins sending him crime scene photos replete with clues left at each scene. The man’s offer? A quid pro quo relationship—if John can connect the clues from his recently deceased wife’s blog, the man will continue to send him insider information from the serial murders happening in London. John thought he knew all about his wife’s work in Ecuador until he started to read her blogs more thoroughly and suddenly his uncertainty about his wife’s death became more than he could bear.
Ben Westwood’s writing style is so clever and fun to read; he effortlessly switches the narrative from past to present and from flashbacks to dreams in a way that informs the storyline well. His knowledge of Ecuador and its culture, ecology, politics and people, and of London’s lifestyles helps situate the mysterious elements of this story. I loved the way he wove each victim’s storyline into the story as well as how he wrote each death—he gave a good description without being too macabre in its delivery. John captured a female’s experience in Ecuador well—it’s hard to be a female in a very male-dominated society. He also rolled out the mystery in such a way that I couldn’t put the book down. He crafted a just-right balance between the storylines, and I loved the tension he built as the story progressed.
Green Shoots offers a unique blend of crime, culture, mystery, ecology, politics, suspense and eco-thriller with the clear and significant insight into the realities of mass-production in our environment, and a deep appreciation of love and loss. I devoured this thrilling book like I hadn’t eaten in weeks. I suspect every other reader who opens this book will do the very same thing! Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Green Shoots by Ben Westwood. Book reviewed by Rachel for Artisan Book Reviews
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Artisan Book Reviews is Proud to Award
Green Shoots by Ben Westwood
First Place in
ABR’s Book Excellence Award
~ best ~
Crime Thriller & Suspense Novel
About Ben Westwood
Ben Westwood is an author, lecturer and performer. He has worked for many years as a journalist, writing for publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent. He lived for several years in South America and has authored travel guidebooks to Ecuador, Galapagos and Peru.
Green Shoots is his first novel and draws on his own experience of grief and of living in Ecuador.
Ben now lives in East Sussex with his two children and lectures at the University of Brighton. In his spare time, he is a singer-songwriter and has released two self-funded albums.
To accompany the release of his debut novel, Ben is releasing a Green Shoots Soundtrack of 10 original songs on the themes of grief, loss, love and healing, available on Spotify, iTunes and all major music channels.