The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
Necessary Ends by Tina Whittle highlights Tai Randolph and Trey Seaver, detective partners and partners in life. Whittle’s writing style pulls readers into the story from page one. This novel combines an action-packed plot with great banter dialogue and a psychological aspect.
Whittle noted, “My very close friend has TBI. Watching him negotiate his life afterwards was profoundly inspiring. Every day he requires a dose of courage. Another friend of mine, after reading the first book, told me she had it. She explained that when she returned to her house the first time she felt it belonged to someone else. I saw how it is really challenging for the loved ones. One of the questions I try to explore is, what makes us who we are? The brain is the great unchartered world of science. We can explain more about the universe than what goes on in our own skulls. I think the psychological aspect in my books runs hand in hand with the mystery.”
Trey Seaver is haunted by the one that got away, a murder of a Hollywood producer’s wife in Atlanta during a filming. Now, about four years later it appears someone wants the producer, Nick Talbot dead. Trey is asked to investigate since he was one of the officers at the crime scene and now is working for a corporate security firm. He tries to use all the skills learned as a former SWAT officer with the Atlanta Police Department. Forced into retirement by a horrific car crash that gave him TBI he now has a new skill, being able to detect someone lying with a high degree of accuracy. His girlfriend, Tai, an amateur sleuth and a gun shop owner is helping him solve the mystery.
Believing in a pragmatic approach to guns, “I wrote how one of my characters, Tai, considers guns to be tools, yet she also says, ‘Some people poured all their crazy into whatever they touched, and a gun sopped up crazy like a sponge.’ I show Tai training regularly because I see what happens to those who do not. I am personally a gun owner and I do support the Second Amendment. I hope to show in this series what responsible guns owners look like versus those who are not. In a scene from this book, Tai knew the woman was buying it for her boyfriend who was waiting in the car outside. She emphasizes that as a responsible person who follows the law, she is not going to sell a gun to that person.”
This series explores what happens to someone with TBI. Since Trey has frontal lobe damage his cognitive impairments include language processing and executive function, the control center of the personality. There is also an exploration of PTSD which Tai has after being kidnapped and almost killed. At night she experiences nightmares, an increase in her heart rate, and becomes delirious. Readers will learn about re-enactment therapy, dissociation, a psychological reaction to overwhelming stress, and decompensation.
All of this plays out in the Southern setting. The characters must navigate lies, lust, and betrayals to find who is behind the original killing and the attempted murder. The powerful theme of vengeance, justice, and playing by the rules keeps the intensity of the plot.