Flow Like A River - Book Review

Flow Like A River

Author: Mark Guillerman
Genre: Fiction - Action
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date Published: 00 , 0000
ISBN-10: 9781977205933
ISBN-13: 9781977205933

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Book Review of :  Flow Like A River


Historical fiction or murder mystery, let the reader decide. Flow Like a River by Mark Guillerman is a fast-moving novel set in the Texas hill country in the 1920s. Seventy-five years is a long time to hold a grudge whether this tale is based on legend or imagination, its plot is intriguing.

The little town of Gary, Texas, is historically portrayed. The reader can smell the dust, hear the chimes from the clock tower, and visualize the citizens on the boardwalks as flatbed trucks and model T Fords traverse the brick main street. Murder is not common, but citizens carry guns.

Sheriff Bud Thomas, retired from the Texas Rangers, has spent time on battlefields and chasing hardened criminals. Gary, Texas, was the idyllic setting he had dreamed of, and it was his responsibility to “make sure these two worlds didn’t collide.” But collide they did when “Prince” Laveaux, a New Orleans crime boss sets up a plan of revenge. An act of revenge for what?

The author lets the reader visualize the Prince in a perfectly tailored and neatly pressed black suit and finely polished black boots. He had taken care to button each shirt button making sure “there was not even the slightest hint of imperfection, not one loose thread or one small wrinkle”. He is in contrast to small-town citizens and farmers in overalls and work clothes.

The suspense begins to grip the town as Prince begins a reign of terror. Daryl, a drunk let out of jail, walks down a pre-dawn street not noticing an open law office door, or the open door to a café and that both had been ransacked. He did not suspect a shadowy figure stalking him. Prince’s men had spent the night spreading evil, breaking into business and ransacking interiors. They “did just enough to let people know that they had been violated” so citizens would doubt their safety, and to raise the tension in town.

Tension builds with murders and arson. Brutality against the town and specifically its Indian citizens, Running Wolf, Brenna and Billy continue to increase with the deaths of the innocent and members of the Prince’s gang. Arson shocks and terrorizes the town.

Billy and his best friend, Johnny, both twelve-year-olds are entrapped in the mayhem. They fear for their lives and for their family but show great courage as the gangsters’ evil vengeance increases.

This reader can visualize Flow Like a River as an action-packed movie with two athletic boys as the main characters, and well defined minor characters. The author is well versed in early Texas culture. The final chapters are especially riveting and vivid.

Reviewed by: Carol

About Mark Guillerman


"Flow Like A River" is the debut novel from Author Mark Guillerman. A native of Houston Texas, I spent time as a singer/songwriter in the bars and clubs in and around Houston. My interest is in "Old Texas" and southwestern History.


By: Ella JamesDate: 03/05/2020 13:59:19
Flow Like a River by Mark Guillerman is a fascinating 5 star read! The author’s suspenseful framing of the story in the prologue provides a meaningful reference point throughout the novel. You’ll be taken on a historical adventure tracing family ties from generations past – and learn the legend of the Chanas tribe’s four brothers.

You’ll be taken on the journey of Brenna Cross, her son Billy, and his grandfather, Running Wolf, the last of the pure bloodline of Chief Grey Wolf. An unusual motley crew thrown together by circumstances and family ties returns Running Wolf from Oklahoma to his tribe’s sacred ground in Gary Texas.

How it began? Brenna received a letter after her husband’s death in the big war from the owner of Bingham’s Country Store in Gary. His promise of a job was the catalyst for the family’s move from Ireland, to finding her husband’s father, Running Wolf, then crossing the rough terrain to meet him and accept his offer.

They settled in the cabin provided by Mr. Bingham with Running Wolf making his camp near a small stream a short walk from Brenna and Billy’s cabin. Billy made friends, attended school and worked at the general store. Things were looking good for the family until the prince, William Laveaux IV, of the Laveaux crime family came to town to avenge his great-grandfather’s murder at the hands of Silent Wolf, of the Chanas tribe.

Having been told the family’s story by his grandmother, he promised vengeance on the descendants of the Chanas tribe. His mother went from high society prominence to a poor outcast from the community. She’d died from drinking herself to death. He vowed the Laveaux name would again be feared and become the leading crime family.

Reading the newspaper story about the Ghost Rider Sighting in Central Texas, south of Goliad, he knew the spirit of the warrior and the white mustang horse was Chief Running Wolf of the Chanas Tribe although the sheriff, Buddy Thomas, denied the claim. He sent his brother Cory and Buck Tills the strongman, and the Peret brothers, along with Bobby Styles and Dalilah Morgan ahead to Gary, to set things in motion. He then booked his train passage along with the cargo marked Crescent Moon Trading Company to carry out his revenge.

With a showdown and dramatic conclusion, in the captivating story of Flow Like A River, author Mark Guillerman’s words “flow like a river” smooth and unobstructed from the pages to the readers mind. A dynamic deliverance of a multi-generational historical adventure. Highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews.

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