By: Donan Berg
Published by: DOTDON Books
Publication Date: September 2020
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 17, 2021
As a reviewer who basically fell in love with this author’s works, it’s quite easy to state that I was completely looking forward to diving into Aria’s Bayou Child. With his catalog, Donan Berg has offered up gifts for those who seek out fantasy titles, romance, mystery/suspense, action, and those who are always searching for something new and fresh in the thriller realm. With each one provided (i.e., Find the Girl, A Fantasy Novel; Into the Dark, Alexa’s Gold, and more), Mr. Berg has yet to fall below the extremely high expectations his amazing writing has set.
This time out, we are headed not only into a thrilling story but, for the majority of the time, the reader is also viewing one of the most vibrant, mind-blowing locations on the map. In fact, I believe if you took a poll, readers would say that the Louisiana bayou—with its ‘weeping trees,’ abandoned huts that look like something from a horror movie, unique and mysterious culture, and creatures hiding in the overgrown foliage that will do far more than go bump in the night—is at the top of the list when it comes to choosing a memorable and frightening setting for a book.
As the story opens, we meet Aria Gleason. This is a woman struggling; her heart holds such intense pain, that most would not even be able to open their eyes in the morning. She has been convicted of her own husband’s murder; a conviction that is dubious at best. Not only has she been labeled a killer, she is also completely heartbroken over the fact that her own child ‘disappeared’ because of the actions of an immoral and detestable baby ring. When her day of freedom arrives and the cell door is opened, Aria embarks on a journey. To say she is obsessed seems lackadaisical, because this poor woman is adamantly gripped by the need to find her child, and will not stop until she does just that.
Aria must go up against many evils in this book. One happens to be a prison guard who knows what the deplorable truth is behind her missing child. Doing any and all things possible to make Aria drop her search, the guard even threatens her in an attempt to erase her obsession for good. Let’s just say that the guard’s actions backfire and, instead of Aria dropping her plans, she becomes far more driven to succeed.
Without much to work with, beside her own strength and a GED she was able to earn while in prison, Aria tries to leave the ‘false imprisonment’ behind in order to move on and bring her baby home. For Aria, however, there are times she must go back and reexamine what happened with husband, Brad, in order to find her way forward.
We are talking pure action here. The steps she must take, the horrible people she must meet, the terrifying moments she must live through that make prison look like a garden party – everything comes at her as events unfold. With each page comes a new suspense. For those who are mothers and love their children more than life, Aria’s outlook is understandable. If a child is taken, insanity can and would set in, and the need to get them back would allow a soul to beg, borrow, steal and kill in order to make their world right again.
Aria ends up being a heroine in many ways. She is challenged, harmed, and shaken to her very core by some of the worst of mankind, but the one thing they cannot shake is her resolve. It is no surprise that Donan Berg’s books have won award after award. You see, not only does he pen tales that keep the reader entranced until the final page, he also creates tales that stick in the mind long after the book has been read, making it necessary to go back and read each one over and over again in order to feel that shot of adrenaline he delivers so well.
Quill says: Aria's Bayou Child lifts the term ‘psychological thriller’ to new heights. To walk inside this author’s mind would be incredible. Since that can’t happen, reading his books is a true treasure.
For more information on Aria’s Bayou Child, please visit the website: www.abodytobones.blogspot.com.