Reviewed by Michael Russo
One of the joys of reading novels from local authors is finding unexpected talent in your own backyard. Case in point: retired Kern County Sheriff Det. William Nikkel. Now with four "Jack Ferrell adventures" under his belt, Nikkel is an accomplished storyteller and a capable writer.
In "Murrieta Gold," Nikkel's most recent novel, protagonist Jack Ferrell finds himself not only up against a worthy foe, but also history. His adversary is growing marijuana in California Gold Country, but 150 years earlier, the land was the stomping grounds for famed bandit, Joaquin Murrieta. Legend has it that Murrieta buried stolen gold in the area, but died prior to retrieving it. For Jack, the issue is neither the drugs nor the treasure -- it is his missing brother who was last seen 11 days earlier. In a race against time, foe and nature, Jack forges forward.
Nikkel's solid character development and strong storyline keep the book moving at a fast clip. His law enforcement background in patrol, SWAT and homicide add grit to his tales. Throw in some local history, a love interest and lots of action, and you have a winner in "Murrieta Gold."
— By Michael Russo, co-owner of Russo’s Books at The Marketplace