Author: Laura Ellen Scott
Genre: Historical, Mystery & Suspense
Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Source: This book was given to me by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: "Ah, the wild west, where the men are tough, the women are trouble, and the emeralds are cursed."
THE JULIET is a novel that braids the history of a cursed emerald called The Juliet with the story of an ailing, retired cowboy actor who comes to Death Valley to search for her. Rigg Dexon, best known for his role as Holt Breck in the classic but controversial seventies Western, Gallows River, holes up for months in a shack known as the Mystery House, until he is driven out of seclusion by the record breaking wildflower bloom of March 2005 that draws swarms of tourists to the desert. After an intense encounter with an ardent fan named Willie Judy at a local bar, Rigg impulsively signs over the deed for the Mystery House to her in a gesture straight out of one of his corny films. But Willie, a rootless, unlucky young woman from a family of short-lived dreamers, takes it as a sign: Dexon wants her to find the Juliet, now that he’s too frail to continue his search. What Willie doesn’t know is that Dexon is giving away everything that’s precious to him, following the advice of Holt Breck: leave like you ain’t coming back. When Dexon’s gift turns out to be the scene of a crime that implicates Willie in drug trafficking, she tries to cover it up, only to be drawn into the chaotic wake of The Juliet.
Interspersed with the story set in 2005 are episodes from The Juliet’s twisted history as the emerald changes hands over the span of a century, leaving a wake of murder, theft, and madness until she is seemingly lost in the 50s. However, when a 1970s cereal company promises that the prize inside the box is a fragment of a treasure map that might lead to The Juliet’s whereabouts, her legend is re-ignited, helped in no small part by the cereal’s spokesman, none other than Rigg Dexon.
My Review: This story revolves around the hunt for a cursed emerald called The Juliet. Rigg, a retired cowboy actor, has deeded the mystery house house to Willie, a woman who has been going through some hard times. When the Mystery House turns out to be the scene of a crime, Willie is forced to learn the truth about Rigg’s past, the mystery house, and the emerald, Juliet.
This story focuses on two characters - Rigg and Willie. Rigg is a retired actor who arrived at Centenary, Nevada, a ghost town in Death Valley, because he was ensnared by the lure of the hidden emerald, The Juliet. However, it becomes apparent that the town and The Mystery House becomes very precious to him, and Rigg makes the hard decision to give it up to Willie. While Willie is at first bye love it love it love it drawn to the hunt for the lost emerald, she is enthralled with The Mystery House. Willie is a woman who is going through hard times. She is very unhappy, and throughout the novel, she goes through some trials. However, she is very persistent and smart. She is very determined to get to the truth of the legend of the emerald. Thus, Rigg and Willie are very complex and fascinating characters.
Overall, this novel is about the search for truth. The story has a mystery, a murder, a curse, and a treasure hunt. While the story is slow-paced and took me a while to get into, I liked having to peeling many layers into the characters’ pasts. I found the characters to be very interesting, real, and human. I thought the setting to have a very mysterious atmosphere, and I was glad to explore the story more. My favorite parts in this novel were the historical aspects. I did not like some parts of the book. I found some scenes to be very unnecessary, and I would have enjoyed it better had those scenes been cut from the book. Still, I recommend this book to anyone interested in Westerns, mysteries, and a hunt for lost treasure.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars