Scorched Earth: Review and Giveaway

SCORCHED EARTH
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 2
by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays

Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Pages: 318
Date of Publication: February 14th, 2021
Categories: Science Fiction / Hard Boiled Detective

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The year is 2188 and the Earth—long-ago abandoned for Mars by the plutocrats—is scorched by poverty, disease, and environmental collapse. What these wealthy elite don’t know is that on his last trip upuniverse, Detective Crucial Larsen stumbled onto a secret that could destroy them. But he doesn’t intend to use it. Fighting back against the ruling Five Families of Mars is a fool’s game destined for failure—or worse, he thinks. Plus, he never wants to set foot on that damn planet again. Then Melinda, his long-lost love and a staff scientist on Mars, begs for his help clearing her fiancée of a murder charge. Crucial jumps on the next q-rocket, hoping maybe this time he can patch things up with Mel. His investigation ultimately leads back to the radiation-blasted sunbelt, where cannibal lizard-people—a climate change mitigation genetic experiment gone terribly wrong—hold the key to a different future, if only Crucial can stay alive long enough to unlock it.


Praise for Scorched Earth:

“Others have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration as do McFall and Hays … a compelling saga, edgy and different, thoroughly absorbing.” 

Midwest Book Review


Purchase: Amazon





Futuristic Science Fiction meets NCIS in this gripping murder mystery that takes place on the planet Mars. Crucial, a labor cop, is controlled by an advanced AI called Halo, as is everyone else on earth. Crucial does what he can to send secret messages to his team as they use nanonites to disrupt Halo’s abilities. He’s happy what he’s doing, fighting the good fight, helping his sister Essential whom is a leader in the resistance. But then he gets a call from his ex Melinda who needs his help to clear her fiance’s name whom has been charged with murder. Though Crucial never wanted to return to Mars, he will do it for Melinda. 


However, Mars is ruled by the Five Families, the wealthy elite. People that Crucial believes are futile to fight against. His investigation however leads him back to Earth, to a genetic experiment that has created lizard like cannibals. And Crucial will do what he can to find the truth, clear Melinda’s finances name, and stay alive, of course. 


I must say Scorched Earth was very intriguing. It took a little to get used to all the scientific names for things, as I’m not used to reading futurist science fiction books. There’s alot of terminology that I had to stop and think about to understand what it was Crucial was describing. Once I got used to the narration the story flowed more easily. I loved how detailed and complex Scroched Earth was, but at the root of it is this investigation that leads Crucial down a path that lets us really explore these two worlds. Especially with things happening now, with the Mars Mission that is going to happen in our lifetime, it was fun to envision a world where people lived on Mars. 


Crucial is such a wonderful character. He’s honorable and dependable. He doesn’t give up on people or himself. He’s definitely the “good cop” in this story, and you’re left rooting for him every step of the way. The depth of his character development had me flipping through each page. To be submerged in this world was unlike anything I have read before! And what Crucial ends up investigating was so beyond the stars, that I had to keep going to figure out how the story was going to unfold. It’s exciting, and a little horrifying, to be honest. But a little dark elements sure was the icing on the cake for me. 


Though Scorched is the second in the trilogy, I read it before reading any of the others and it did fine as a stand alone, though now I am interested in the other books in the series! 


Scorched is definitely a gripping read! It’s vivid and engrossing. A read for anyone that loves a good, dark, murder mystery, especially for those science fiction lovers out there! Be sure to check it out!


Rating: 4/5




Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.  Scorched Earth is their ninth co-authored book. Pumpjack Press  ║  Pumpjack Press on Facebook Facebook ║ Instagram Connect with Kathleen Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter Connect with Clark Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter



GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

ONE WINNER gets autographed copies of
ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE HALO TRILOGY,
including the forthcoming third book, when available.
(US only, ends midnight, CDT, 3/22/2021)

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily.
Or visit the blogs directly:

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3/16/21

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The Clueless Gent

3/16/21

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Hall Ways Blog

3/17/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

3/17/21

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Jennie Reads

3/18/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

3/18/21

Review

Sybrina’s Book Blog

3/19/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

3/19/21

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Tangled in Text

3/19/21

BONUS Promo

All the Ups and Downs


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1 thought on “Scorched Earth: Review and Giveaway

  1. Great review — and good to know we can jump in to book two and not be lost. Can’t wait to start this series and look forward to book 3 coming… next year?! Cool to be able to win it!

    Like

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