Serenity - Craig A. Hart - Book Cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

Serenity – Craig A. Hart

Shelby Alexander has moved to Serenity to get away from his life as a fixer. But then a murder brings him in direct contact with the feared Ellis family!


Shelby Alexander Thriller #1

Meet ex-professional boxer and fixer Shelby Alexander. Divorced many years ago, recently he is back in contact with his now 30-year-old daughter Leslie. He loves reconnecting, at the same time is happy she’s not living close by. She is making him feel his almost sixty years but despite his age, he reckons he’s still in good shape. At least his much younger girlfriend thinks so. Shelby is once again living in his hometown Serenity in the Michigan countryside, where the nights are pitch dark and the speed of life is peaceful. Apart from the Ellis family of course!


The Ellis family are criminals; “the often hated, always feared Ellis-clan … a force to be reckoned with.” Somehow they act as if the law doesn’t apply to them. However, this is about to change as the newly appointed Sheriff Wilkes of Serenity is determined to stop their drugs trafficking once and for all. Shelby has managed to stay away from the Ellis family, but not for much longer. On a cold, snowy night, he notices the mentally handicapped Jenny Ellis outside. The poor girl freezes to death on Shelby’s doorstep and somehow he is sure soon his life will also be in danger. The next day the patron of the Ellis family pays Shelby a visit and asks him to investigate Jenny’s death. Would you believe it that the one innocent member of the Ellis family was used for drugs transport? In the sick minds of the Ellis clan, Jenny could perfectly be used as a drugs carrier since no one would suspect her. Shelby has no other choice than accept the job.

In his heart, he knows that once again he will find himself on the “outskirts of the law.” To make matters more complicated, a rival drugs gang moved into the area, taking over the drugs business. Will Jenny’s death turn the once quiet peaceful town of Serenity into a battlefield of drugs gangs and criminals? What about Shelby, is he capable of handling these hard-core criminals on his own? He has a girlfriend, the 30-year younger Carly of whom his daughter Leslie has no idea yet. Perhaps there’s also personal danger involved. It seems Leslie is desperate for her father to contact her mother. Shelby hasn’t done so in ages, and, fully aware of the fact that he eventually will give in to his daughter, has no intention of meeting her demands right now. Shelby has barely started investigating the suspicious death of Jenny when the man who hired him is found dead. He was the only member of the Ellis family you could reason with.

Can Shelby go on searching for Jenny’s killer or will he now be subjected to the Ellis madness? They mistrust him and Shelby feels he’s walking on ice. He knows only too well what could happen as he has been beaten up by the Ellis brothers before. By the way, you should know, the Ellis’ brothers favourite thing to hold is a shotgun. Could it get any worse for Shelby? Yes, it can because when he’s out fishing he stumbles onto a drugs exchange and witnesses a murder. Shelby is hiding out, desperate not to become the next victim, but then Carly decides to send him some texts. His phone beeps give him away and Shelby has to run for his life. From now on the pace of this thrilling novel is speeding up, as Shelby realises these are hardcore criminals with no scruples whatsoever. Will he get to the bottom of this? He’s a loner and has to deal with both criminal factions, not to mention Sheriff Wilkes who is keeping a suspicious eye on him.

My Thoughts

Craig Hart’s crime debut is a captivating and fast-paced thriller with a likeable protagonist who gets involved in bad situations. It’s easy to sympathise with Shelby, although he’s not always good-humoured and has but a few scruples. He needed to leave the dangerous life he was leading, to find himself again in the quietness of Michigan’s countryside, where the dark nights match his sense of loneliness. Now Shelby has found his place and is breathing freely again, he’s settling down in Serenity, but yet again he is a magnet to criminals, surrounded by madmen and in constant danger. I look forward to reading more about Shelby Alexander!

The other instalments in the Shelby Alexander Thrillers:
#2 Serenity Stalkedmy review
#3 Serenity Avenged 
#4 Serenity Submerged  

About the Author

Craig A. Hart Author Image

Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, a writer, editor, Amazon bestselling author, lover of the arts, and only human. He has served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine and as manager for Sweatshoppe Media. He lives and writes in Iowa City, Iowa with his wife, sons, and two cats. 

Book Info

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Paperback  220 pages
 Publisher  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 Oct 2016)
 ISBN  978-1539311881
 eBook  838 KB

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