By: McKinley Aspen
Publisher: Muse Literary
Publication Date: August 8, 2023
Reviewed by: Katie Specht
Review Date: August 13, 2023
From adventure author McKinley Aspen comes the second book in the Shadows in the Wind series entitled Cogitatio. In this story, we are reunited with our heroine Kathryn Bek as she is sent on her most challenging mission yet with the elite, secret organization Hope & Global Support (HGS).
Aspen wastes no time in getting the action started in her latest book as the prologue of the story opens with Kathryn finding herself in jail in Alaska after being framed for a crime she didn’t commit. The early part of the story explains how Kathryn wound up in Alaska. She is taken aside privately by Raphael from HGS, who gives her keys for an apartment in Alaska and tells her that this mission will be challenging and she will be going it alone. She has many questions, most of which are only vaguely answered. Above all, she is directed to blend in, remember that she is undercover and to not let anyone know who she really is. She is also surprised to find out that the mission will be a long-term one, approximately a year. Although she is wary of all the unknowns and sad at the thought of having to leave her husband behind, she does as she is instructed and embarks on her journey to Alaska, completely unaware of what is waiting for her there.
Once in Alaska, Kathryn meets her downstairs neighbors, Tom, his wife, Jessica, and their twin girls. At first, Kathryn is a bit unsure about Tom. Certain things about him seem a bit off and he asks her many prying questions, which Kathryn tries her best to evade. However, after a while, Kathryn decides that maybe Tom is just being neighborly and she should give him a chance, so she accepts his invitation to a family dinner one night. From this point on, Kathryn and Tom’s family become real friends and help each other the way friends do. This continues until the day that police officers show up at Kathryn’s door with a warrant for her arrest. She is hauled off to jail where she later learns that she has been charged with selling drugs and $3 million worth of cocaine has been found in her condo.
Before long, Kathryn discovers that a fellow HGS team member, Ashley Harrington, is in jail with her. It is then that the puzzle pieces begin to come together for Kathryn and Ashley, and they realize that the mission is to be completed within the jail in which they have been incarcerated. Together, Ashley and Kathryn begin forming alliances with fellow inmates as they discover a disturbing conspiracy behind the operation of the prison. Kathryn, Ashley and their new friends at the prison must work together as they face a truly evil enemy and try to free dozens of innocent women who have been caught in this ominous web of malevolence.
Aspen truly has a gift for writing that keeps the reader entertained. Cogitatio is a fast-paced, thrilling, action-packed and, put simply, exciting read. There were no parts of the story that seemed unnecessary or moved too slow. Every incident in the book helped to do something to push the plot along, even a scene so simple as Kathryn having dinner with her new neighbors.
The emotions run high in this story, understandably, as Kathryn fights for her freedom and the freedom of dozens of other women. It is easy for the reader to root for Kathryn as she quite literally, puts her life on the line to save others. I did not have the pleasure of reading and reviewing book one in the Shadows in the Wind series, Praesidium, but if it was anything like the electrifying ride of Cogitatio, I am most definitely going to grab myself a copy!
Quill says: Aspen has written an outstanding follow-up to her first book in the Shadows in the Wind series with Cogitatio. This story is full of suspense, twists, turns and excitement, and the ending will leave the reader craving more adventures with Kathryn Bek.
For more information on Cogitatio (Shadows in the Wind, Book Two), please visit the author's website at: mckinleyaspen.com/