The Bitter Past, a review by Sherry

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The Bitter Past
Bruce Borgos

305 pages
Minotaur Books
published July 18, 2023

Amazon | Goodreads

I’m always a sucker for detective/sheriff and ex-army characters and throw in a little cold war intrigue and a location near area 51 and I’m sold.  I was a little concerned with the cringey flirting at the beginning of this one, but that tapered off pretty quickly.  This ended up being a little twisty and made me say what, a couple of times.

This one has dual timelines of the present and back in the 50s during the cold war with Russia.  I was especially drawn to the timeline in the past where a Russian spy infiltrated the US nuclear testing to pass along sensitive information.  I was keen to know if the Russian spy would get away with it or if it would catch up with him.

This one is quite layered and I was impressed how the timelines came together and that there weren’t any dangling plots.  I didn’t see where this one was going and was pleasantly surprised.

If you are a fan of dual timelines or cold war action stories, you should pick this one up.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and #SMPinfluencers for my #gifted copy.

About the book

Porter Beck is the sheriff in the high desert of Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Born and raised there, he left to join the Army, where he worked in Intelligence, deep in the shadows in far off places. Now he’s back home, doing the same lawman’s job his father once did, before his father started to develop dementia. All is relatively quiet in this corner of the world, until an old, retired FBI agent is found killed. He was brutally tortured before he was killed and clues at the scene point to a mystery dating back to the early days of the nuclear age. If that wasn’t strange enough, a current FBI agent shows up to help Beck’s investigation.

In a case that unfolds in the past (the 1950s) and the present, it seems that a Russian spy infiltrated the nuclear testing site and now someone is looking for that long-ago, all-but forgotten person, who holds the key to what happened then and to the deadly goings on now.

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