Jim Arnold
Eureka Street Press (2016)
ISBN 9780996938006
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (09/16)

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I love the whole Palm Springs area. An adventurous day for me is having a star sighting or being able to park my RAV4 between a Bentley and a Maserati at Costco. In “Kept” by Jim Arnold, the adventures are a bit more extreme, and not all are to be enjoyed. For a young illegal immigrant named Jorge Gomez aka George Gomes, he will do what it takes to achieve his view of the American dream. Deciding to move out of his mother’s decrepit trailer in Mecca, Jorge goes to Palm Springs to find his fortune. He is quickly spotted by Connor Hurst, who pulls him into a huge scam involving a corrupt real estate business and using Native Americans to swindle old people out of their homes.

Jorge and Connor immediately find they are attracted to each other, but Connor already has a lot on his plate, including having an affair with his boss and his boss’s wife. When an aspiring news reporter begins investigating the claims of the elderly, things start heating up. Loyalties are tested, and often fail. Relationships between men and men, men and women, and family members are all on trial. As a body count starts accruing, it is obvious that no one should be trusted.

Readers will find that “Kept” by Jim Arnold will keep them on the edge of their seats, because just when you think the story is going one way, the author leads you in the opposite direction. The cast of characters also makes for a lively read. Each one has their own motivation for their behavior, and 99% of the time, it is all based upon greed. The deviousness of their actions makes for a very fun plot. Living nearby, even made it more fun for me because the author’s description of the area was right on target and I enjoyed the familiar desert setting. This is highly recommended reading for people who enjoy a lively mystery.