Book Review: A Last Act of Charity

“A Last Act of Charity” by Frank Westworth is a solid read. Initially drawn to it by the cover, it starts out with a crime scene and immediately draws you in. It's gritty, exciting, funny, and captivating, everything you'd expect from a good thriller & suspense novel.

The language was descriptive, and at times, humorous. For example, in reference to sensual rope-tying - “How tight should one pull the silken twine before the reef knot turned into the grief knot?” The only thing that diminished the otherwise fluid pace of the story were the one-word sentences, of which there were many. Tons. Numerous. However, that’s just the author’s style, and since I’m talking about it in a review, it made the story unique. 

I didn’t like how the story switched from 3rd person to first person in Chapter 4, despite the chapter title declaring “First Person Plural.” At times, the story also breaks the 4th wall, speaking directly to the reader, which I wasn’t a fan of, but that's just a personal preference.

Overall, the book is an exciting thrill-ride involving crime scenes, action, and intriguing characters who help maintain the pace of the story. The musings of JJ Stoner, the main character, are hilarious and mix nicely with some of the other darker themes of the story. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun read featuring a strong lead and a thrilling plot. 

4/5 stars


Degen Hill

About: Degen Hill is a travel junkie, gym enthusiast, and avid writer who currently resides in Beijing. He is a 28-year-old graduate of Eastern Washington University where he studied Spanish & Communications and quickly learned that life's too short to not travel. Degen is aggressively realistic, open-minded, sarcastic, curious, and results-driven.

Currently: Degen graduated from Tsinghua University with a Master's of Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy in Beijing. He is now a reporter and editor for the political magazine China Today (今日中国). His Chinese language ability is a work in progress and enjoys the challenge. He is currently living in Andingmen (Right above the Forbidden City).