River of Secrets Book Review - Roger Johns
River of Secrets Book Review

River of Secrets by Roger Johns – Book Review

River of Secrets is another Detective Wallace Hartman mystery thriller from Roger Johns following his successful first book, Dark River Rising.

River of Secrets Book Review
River of Secrets

Book Review

I picked up this book intrigued by two things. The first fact is that this book has a female protagonist though written by a male author. It has to be said that the author does an incredible job with this character and this book keeps you hooked till the end. And the second point is that the author was previously a lawyer. I love John Grisham’s books and this book did not disappoint me though it did not have legal drama in it like Grisham’s books. It is purely a police procedural drama that keeps you engaged and on your toes.

River of Secrets

Set in Baton Rouge, Wallace Hartman is an honest cop, who is not afraid to take heat from her own department when situations warrant it. This case follows her chasing justice when a high-profile politician is murdered.

Detective Hartman finds herself in a sticky situation when she realizes that there is a leak in her department and she does not know whom to trust which in turn severely limits her resources. She relentlessly pursuits justice even though she knows of the danger that lurks close by.

Rich characters

What I loved most about this book is the fact that not even a single character is thrown in loosely. Every single role has an interesting part in the plot. Detective Hartman is relentless, a force to reckon with, making this book irresistible.

Racial hatred, a seriously love-deprived son of the victim, a suspect in custody that Detective Hartman thinks is framed by someone with a sinister agenda, dirty politics, and most importantly, clever antagonists make this an exciting read indeed. Till the very end of the book, you would not guess who the wrong-doer is.

Strong Plot

It is easy to see that this story has a big river of secrets. When you think that you have figured something out, turns out that it doesn’t hold water after all.

In some parts, the plot makes you literally hold your breath as the protagonist faces impossible situations and has nothing to rely on except her wits.

A witness who is crucial to the case behaves exactly like a person in the real world would and inevitably makes the job harder for the detective. Technology is used efficiently and you can relate to many things happening in the process without feeling left out because of any technical jargon.

Keeping the plot even more intriguing is the realistic portrayal of people. Personal relations are complicated giving an authentic feel to the story. Friendship comes from unexpected quarters.


I enjoyed this book so much that I am going to order the first book, Dark River Rising, right away. Excited to see that though it is the author’s first book, Roger Johns won the Georgia Author of the Year award for this thriller. Looking forward to many more thrilling Wallace Hartman mysteries!

Go on, check our River of Secrets right away and I guarantee you a great evening of gripping crime fiction.

Check out the book on Amazon now available as River of Secrets: A Wallace Hartman Mystery (Wallace Hartman Mysteries).

Also read: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Book – Short Summary

*DisclosureThis post may have affiliate link(s). They do not cost anything extra to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

About Priyadarshini Rajendran 210 Articles
Priyadarshini Rajendran is a travel enthusiast, avid reader and a passionate writer. She has a few of her books published and is writing more books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software consultant taking breaks for her travels. Her blog is her passion and she writes about travel, books and food on the blog. She offers customized itineraries for South Indian destinations.

11 Comments Posted

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.