About the Book
Roger Viceroy is back in The Counsel of the Cunning, Book 2 of the Roger Viceroy series. Following a harrowing tragedy and the unfortunate shutdown of his agency, Roger is approached by former U.S. Senator Jürgen Sandt with a mission that will take him well beyond the borders of the United States. The Senator's son, Bertram, went missing while on a mission trip in Guatemala. Now, ten years later, a clue left at Jürgen's front gate leads him to believe that Bertram may still be alive. Jürgen needs Roger's help to get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all, but as Roger and his team struggle to piece together the clues, a new threat emerges that may very well be connected to Bertram's disappearance.
(Disclaimer: I received a free digital advance review copy of this book from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased. To read my review of the first book, Give Place to Wrath, please click here.)
In The Counsel of the Cunning, Steven C. Harms has yet again excelled at weaving a complex, action-packed plot. It can be read as a standalone easily enough; however, reading Give Place to Wrath beforehand allowed me to have a deeper initial understanding of the characters and the agency Viceroy worked for, and it made the tragedy hit harder. The start of The Counsel of the Cunning felt slightly scattered because there was so much to take in. The writing didn't feel as tight. Given that, I didn't enjoy this installment quite as much as the first, but everything came together and made more sense as the novel progressed.
Like the first book, The Counsel of the Cunning had great characters (including some interesting additions to the cast), a well-developed plot, and nail-biting suspense. Viceroy and his team kept the same dynamic I enjoyed in Give Place to Wrath, but each character gained more depth. I appreciated how different this plot was from the first novel, and I loved the intriguing new scenery. I also liked that this book didn't have the level of graphic content the first one did. In conclusion, though I enjoyed the first book more, The Counsel of the Cunning was a pulse-pounding work of detective fiction. I'd love to read the next installment. Mystery lovers won't want to miss the enthralling Roger Viceroy series.
Trigger warning: This work contains some scenes of violence, drug use, profanity, and themes of grief and loss.
He's an accomplished playwright having written and produced a wildly successful theatrical production which led him to tackling his debut novel, Give Place to Wrath, the first in the Roger Viceroy detective series. The second book, The Counsel of the Cunning, is due out in fall of 2021.
A native of Wisconsin, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. He now resides in Oxford, Michigan, a small, rural suburb of Detroit.