One Night in the Hill Country – Book Review

Felipe Adan Lerma is a prolific author, having written numerous books in a number of genres ranging from short thrillers, as reviewed here, to poetry, photography, travel, and many more. He is also a prolific book reviewer, contributing to a number of online Indie author review and writing groups as well as offering help and advice whenever and wherever he can. On a personal note he has also proved to be an invaluable and valued member of my own Indie Author Review Exchange Fb group.


Further links to the authors numerous novels and poetry collections can be found at: & the author’s Amazon Author page



One Night in the Hill Country

(Adan’s Thriller Mystery Suspense Books)

By Felipe Adan Lerma

(Available as an eBook from Amazon)



Felipe1At thirty thousand words this is a short story just a tad short of novella length, but one that punches well above it weight, holding its own against the depth and intricacy of longer works. It tackles the controversial issue of child trafficking and abuse as the vessel for the main story, namely that of the misguided but presumably well-meaning efforts of a brother and sister, Rolf and Tara, in using illegal immigrant children they have abducted in order to lure the same sort of men who once hurt they themselves in order to exact some sort of revenge. There are subtle references as to what may have happened to Rolf and Tara in the past and led them to the circumstances of the story, but the author deliberately doesn’t go into detail here, instead leaving it to the reader’s imagination. As in all good thrillers though, things don’t go to plan, cue the arrival of former policewoman, Samantha, along with four young children in her care as they happen to stop by where Rolf and Tara are holding several other children. What follows is a desperate struggle for survival by children and adults alike whilst the outside authorities also seek to discover the truth of what’s happened.

The writing is crisp and to the point, avoiding unnecessary description and elaboration, employing an economy of words much in the style of the likes of Hemmingway. Just as the story is divided into nearly eighty short chapters, so too are the sentences and paragraphs short and sharp, giving the feeling of a fast paced thriller, constantly driving the story forward; likewise with the dialogue, crisp and sharp, and well interspaced into the narrative.

This isn’t a book with the same depth and characterisation of say a John Grisham or Jon Kellerman thriller, but at thirty thousand words it isn’t intended to be. What it is though is a fast paced story, with enough length and substance to it to still engage the reader throughout. Anyone who enjoys the short story genre might well enjoy this novella too; although longer than the traditional short story, the structure and style of writing makes it read as such, while still packing in way more content than the word count would suggest. It’s also worth noting that some of the characters also appear in other stories by the author thus providing a sense of familiarity and continuity should the reader read further stories in this genre by the same author. Overall, an engaging and enjoyable book easily read in one or at most, two sittings…


A few other works by the the author: click on thumbnails for further details...

felipe2 felipe3 felipe25


About RuddersWriting

Middle-aged man, aspiring writer, book blogger/reviewer, and author, one grown-up son and young grandson, now retired, actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on February 12, 2015, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Really like the notion of meeting characters who live in other stories too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me too! If it’s an author you enjoy reading, the cropping up of familiar characters really adds something to a book I think…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julia, thank you for the comment. It’s one of my enduring pleasures having many of the characters appear in lots of different stories, of all lengths and types, from Galveston and Austin to Vermont and Paris.

      Right now, Sam (Samantha) is also in Dirty Sixth Street, Austin (where she meets all six children), three Vermont shorts (which feature her as a young girl and teen), and a WIP, Queen, another thriller novella but this time set in Vermont.

      The children are in many many short stories, sometimes just them by themselves, but often with either a parent or their grandma and grandpa. I have a list and brief description of my fiction on my site at :

      All the best, Julia, thanks again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Felipe Adan Lerma and commented:
    A wonderful immensely appreciated review from author Paul Ruddock, posted on his site. If you appreciate this review as much as I do, please check out his other Indie author reviews. Sharp compassionate insight is one of his consistent trademarks, and I am very fortunate to have received his thoughts and impressions.


    • Well done on achieving this review. You should indeed feel grateful Felipe, because apart from Paul’s insight highlighting the positive aspects in a book, he is capable of seeing shortcomings and can bring them to the author’s attention without bells and whistles. As you know, this book is already on my shrinking TBR, so it’s great to see such a good review from Paul.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Cheers again for such a complimentary commentary. It’s just good to be getting back to my reading and reviewing now, along with my own writing too. Time to be getting on with a another book I’ve been looking forward to, a retribution themed thriller by an author I’ve enjoyed in the past – looks damned good judging from recent reviews!

        Thanks Tom…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Tom. Yes, the depth and integrity of the review deserves that so-often misused word, awesome! I am genuinely grateful 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for the reblog, and the kind words here, very much appreciated..


      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s hard to express how much a review of this depth, and breadth, means for me. But this level of review is that provides a foundation and reminder, of what I wanted to achieve, and reached with one reader. And I gratefully and humbly thank you for that. One of my secret goals was to reach a compression of content that regardless of the length that One Night in the Hill Country finally settled to, it would evoke a fullness and completeness felt beyond its word count. This reveal tells me I’m on track. Maybe the most valuable thing a review can give an artist in any field. Thank you Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that. As you know yourself, we can only judge a book by the words in front of us so it’s refreshing to both author and reviewer when an author says you’ve captured and expressed some of what they intended i.e. got it right so to speak. It was a very enjoyable but surprisingly effortless story to read, though as a great fan of both the short story and thriller genres I may be a little biased here. Am glad you were pleased with the review and thanks for saying so…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very pleased!

        And glad you mention it was effortless for you. I do think for some folk the short emphatic conversational-clipped style is difficult. Especially coupled with sometimes comma-strung phrases. But I do work the lines over and over to create rhythms, and if a reader can feel those, the text will run like water, complete with gulleys, falls, shifting banks, plus snags on surprise twigs and boulders.

        The range of readers who have found the style easy, vs unreadable, suggests to me it may be more a matter of creative taste, than thrillers per se. Even if more prevalent in thrillers.

        Which I think is not only ok, but good.

        Variety in creative work is as vital as variety in nature, because it is part of nature. Broadly speaking anyways 🙂

        And good for the same dominant reason, creative survival.

        I think, if one can practice accepting this belief, it leads to a more compassionate reception of creative differences.

        And that might lead to all kinds of good things.


  4. Reblogged this on Indie Author Review Exchange and commented:

    A fast paced short thriller from Felipe Adan Lerma… Reblogged from my own personal blogsite.

    Liked by 1 person

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