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July 15, 2023

Excavations by Hannah Michell ~ a Review

by MK French

Sae was at home with her toddlers when she heard of the collapse of a massive skyscraper where her husband Jae was an engineer. Conflicting reports of the event made Sae nervous; she and Jae used to be anti-government protesters, and somehow the government was involved, with missing contractors. Leaving the children with her estranged mother, Sae sets out to discover the truth. It's more complicated and confusing than she thought, and perhaps there was more to Jae than she knew.

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book cover of crime fiction novel Excavations by Hannah Michell
July 2023; One World; 978-0593596050
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); crime fiction

Taking care of toddler boys is exhausting, and Sae covered for her missing husband by saying he had a work trip after Aspiration Tower fell. Too much was unknown in the immediate aftermath, but one of his coworkers had been there, and his wife took off almost immediately after the collapse. Suspicious, but not quite enough to get Sae moving until the company he was working for gets blamed for using substandard materials and more bodies are found. Her former reporter senses go off, and she begins asking around and looking into the company her husband worked for. She does an amazing job following the threads and figuring out what happened, but it's always the rich and powerful that make things happen. They buy the silence of those who could give evidence, encourage someone else to take the fall, and then threaten to get their way. Nothing means more than money, and the lives of innocent bystanders mean absolutely nothing.

My heart went out to Sae as the novel progressed. The more she found out, the more she was rebuffed and getting boxed in by powerful men. Her reaction in the final quarter of the book was understandable and sad, but the final part of the novel gives me hope for her future. She and her sons had gone through a lot because of this, but she again has her strength at the very end.

Buy Excavations at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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