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Renegade Pawn

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Loved it! 😍

A culturally rich introduction to a world of drugs, identity and love.

For a short book, Renegade Pawn packs in a lot of detail, without losing its effectiveness. It reads with a stylistic poeticism that details interwoven stories that all have identity at their core; reminiscent, in some ways of a Junot Diaz novel.


As the 1st book in the Luke Rocha thriller series from Craig Wilson, it is an enjoyable introduction to the world, characters and conflicts of this series. With the introduction of Luke Rocha (aka Panthera), we are given a truly descriptive and rich image of all the stakes and pain he holds as a young boy in the poverty stricken favelas of Brazil. His story is one we care about and one that, even with some resolution at the end, we desire more from; a naturally good sign for a book series.


In another area of Brazil, we also learn part of the story of Daniel Burke, a vacationing DEA agent, who to begin with gives off an air of pretension and a classicist attitude, but becomes gradually more likeable. His wish for a new start in life is shadowed by a potentially destructive IA investigation, and his own run in with our protagonist, Panthera. This conflict is interesting and the flirtation of a romantic narrative is sweet and a nice thematic change from the intensity of the primary story, but seems to be forgotten by the end. It is very likely that this will be picked up in the 2nd instalment of this series, along with the result of the investigation, but the lack of a stronger resolution for Daniel is a noticeable disappointment. It also positions him, in my mind at least, as a sort of secondary protagonist as opposed to a supporting character to Luke, whether intentional or otherwise. Nevertheless he is a good character, and one I do wish to know more about.


Overall, Renegade Pawn did indeed keep me entertained, and whetted my appetite for a narrative story I do not know much about but am deeply intrigued by. Drugs, guns, love and high stakes, all ingredients for a great fleshed out novel. How the 2nd novel is written could dramatically change the perception of the 1st, so I'm greatly intrigued to hear more. If that is not the sign of a good book, then what is?

Reviewed by

I am a 25-year-old book enthusiast, personal essayist and poet. From the age of 8, I was encouraged to read and write as a method of therapy. I read incessantly. I healed as I read; I found complete fascination in every good book that gripped me, and every chance I can, I talk about each one.

Late January 2008

About the author

Craig Wilson is a writer and world traveler. He conceived of the idea for this series after his own tragic encounter with a street kid in a Rio favela. Read more at www.CraigSWilson.com view profile

Published on September 07, 2018

Published by Networlding Publishing

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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