Book Review and Giveaway: Reap the Wind by Joel Burcat

REAP THE WIND
by
Joel Burcat
Action-Adventure / Suspense / Climate Change / EcoThriller
Publisher: Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Books, Inc.
Date of Publication: February 6, 2024
Number of Pages: 215 pages
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THE PERFECT STORM meets THE FIRM

Reap the Wind is a thrilling action/adventure novel that follows three lawyers as they embark on a treacherous journey from Houston to Cincinnati during a catastrophic hurricane. Josh Goldberg is on a mission to be with his girlfriend for the birth of their child. Along the way, they’ll face terrifying obstacles like tornadoes, hailstorms, and driving rain. But the real danger may come from within as they struggle to survive each other’s company. His two travel companions—his best friend, a drug-addicted lawyer, and his conniving boss who has her own agenda.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable odyssey that might just be a suicide trip.

“Reap the Wind is a bold, bracing and blisteringly original take on the legal thriller form. Joel Burcat has fashioned a seminal tale focusing on the nightmare of all road trips in which a storm raging outside the car is matched only by the storm raging within. Burcat dares to tread on the hallowed ground of John Grisham and Scott Turow and ends up blazing a fresh, daring literary tale of his own. Not to be missed!”

—Jon Land, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

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I hesitate to use the term “legal thriller” here. I normally associate that genre with crime, mystery, the suspense of figuring out whodunnit and seeing justice done. I’d call Reap the Wind more of a suspenseful road trip buddy (anti-buddy?) read with a legal background.

Josh Goldberg is an environmental lawyer, doing legal work for big corporations. He’s in Houston for a conference his firm is putting on for bigwigs in the oil and gas industry. His fiancee, Keisha Jones, who is eight months pregnant, has traveled with him. Although they’ve been together for some time, they’ve never gotten married – perhaps there are doubts on one side or the other? Joel is starting to question whether the legal work he’s doing is really on the side of right, and whether his clients really are contributing to climate change.

An unseasonable and unusually strong November hurricane is moving into Houston, and Keisha decides she’d prefer to be close to home in case her baby decides to come a little early. But flying in inclement weather is always a dicey choice, and she ends up stranded at the Cincinnati airport. After she passes out there, she finds herself in a small Kentucky hospital, where the OB/GYN on call is none other than her former boyfriend, the super-hot (and super persistent) Anthony Sudor. Once he hears about Keisha’s medical concerns (and the fact that hot med guy is her doctor for the time being), nothing will do but that Josh find a way to get to that hospital. In a hurricane. A literal, big-a$$ hurricane. His drug-addicted lawyer friend Geoff comes along for the ride, and his dragon lady boss Diane horns in on the trip as well. But Diane needs to get to Philadelphia, not Cincinnati or some podunk Kentucky hospital, and she’s determined that her agenda will control.

Y’all, I am from a hurricane state. I don’t even like to drive in regular rain, much less the over-the-top weather our trio of travelers was facing here. Reading this road trip adventure had me stressed to the max. I just knew they were going to get creamed by a flying eighteen-wheeler, or get blown off a bridge, or get sucked up by a tornado, or something. I was practically screaming in my head, “WHY DID Y’ALL NOT JUST STAY PUT IN THE NICE HOTEL?!” And if Keisha was so concerned about being close to home to birth her baby, why did she go to the conference?! AGGGGGGGGGH.

The road trip itself was a knuckle-biter. The weather was atrocious. Almost everything that could go wrong, did. From crazy high winds to tornadoes to predatory teenage girls in a small-town diner, events conspire against our hero making it to his lady love at all, much less before her baby arrives! If Joel Burcat intended the reader to be on the edge of their seat, he did a masterful job of it. I wanted to scream at all the characters for their bone-headed choices, but I couldn’t put the book down, either!

And honestly, none of the characters were really, truly likable. Some (I’m looking at you, Diane) were more dislikable than others. I did want to see Joel and his fellow travelers reach their destination safely – I didn’t want anyone not to make it to the end of the book. But Joel was an idiot for driving in a hurricane, Geoff couldn’t quit with the drugs, Diane was a raging harpy in designer clothes, and Hot Doctor Anthony was probably violating a number of ethical rules with his unrelenting romantic pursuit of Keisha while she was under his medical care.

Still and all, Reap the Wind certainly kept me engaged and entertained, even if I sometimes wanted to fling it across the room because poor choices were made. The ending went about the only way it could have, and as real life often is, it was part not what was hoped for, and part satisfactory. I give it a solid four stars.
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Joel Burcat is an award-winning author of three environmental legal thrillers: Drink to Every Beast (illegal dumping of toxic waste), Amid Rage (a coal mine permit battle), and Strange Fire (a fracking dispute). His most recent book, Reap the Wind, is about three lawyers trying to drive from Houston to Cincinnati in a climate change-induced hurricane.
He has received a number of awards, including the Gold Medal for environmental fiction from Readers’ Favorite for Strange Fire, and as a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Amid Rage. He has written numerous short stories. Burcat imbues his novels with facts to educate his readers about critical environmental issues while they are being entertained by the story.
Burcat’s books are infused with realism developed over a forty plus year career as an environmental lawyer.
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THREE WINNERS:
Signed copy of REAP THE WIND
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 03/15/24)

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2 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Reap the Wind by Joel Burcat

  1. Ha! Mark of a good book if it incites such strong responses, right? I’m glad you didn’t fling it and instead kept flipping pages. Thanks for a great review.

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