Properly sourced, carefully edited journalism, with no other agenda than to provide truth and context has always been important to help citizens gain knowledge and understanding, but perhaps now, unlike no other time in history is it paramount for the future health of our state and nation.

A thrilling review in Alaska Women Speak magazine!

Writers dream of reviews like this one written about my book and featured in the spring issue of Alaska Women Speak magazine. It's one thing to get great comments from family and friends, but it's an amazing feeling to get a glowing review from an editor that doesn't know you, only your work..:) Here's the write up:

Domestic Terror: Lori Townsend’s American Homewrecker

Gabrielle Raffuse

Alaska Public Radio’s News Director Lori Townsend takes readers into the paranoid and drug-fueled world of an extreme right-wing separatist group with her debut novel American Home Wrecker.  The novel is set in Anchorage where investigative reporter Zilla Gillette writes for the fictional Anchorage Daily Standard. The action—there’s lots of action— drives the hard-working Zilla into the Mat-Su Valley, where the leader of the separatist Double Eagle Militia, General Burke, lives in a comfortable home and keeps in a more modest establishment his very young, beautiful, and damaged mistress Jamie Lynn Carter. Jamie Lynn, evil incarnate, serves as the perfect foil to clean-living and conscientious Zilla. With the help of the charismatic Jamie Lynn, General Burke recruits alcoholics, tweakers, and other disaffected White racists easily whipped up and looking to blame the political left and people of color for their lots in life. True to its action/mystery form, the plot opens with the discovery of a murder. A jogger sees ahead some shadowy figures who abandon a severely beaten corpse near Earthquake Park on Anchorage’s Coastal Trail. The body is curiously that of an old woman and initiates the book’s trail of violence as Zilla, her partner, and her police detective contact (both handsome guys) follow leads, working to figure out and expose the Militia’s plan to make Alaska the base for bringing down and taking over the government of the United States. 

American Home Wrecker is a page-turner. But its pace slows now and again to provide Zilla’s backstory, which includes plenty of pain tempered by an education in martial arts and a good, solid parental foundation, something that marks her as both lucky and innocent in comparison to the book’s female antagonist, whose backstory is painful and tragic. The tragic backstory and a side-plot involving Zilla’s girlfriend Mo bring issues of domestic violence in the home into juxtaposition with issues of domestic violence in a national sense.  In American Home Wrecker, terror is born in the home and in the homeland.

Townsend’s book was released in February and readers drawn to Zilla Gillette and her circle of friends and co-workers will be happy to know that she’ll be back to investigate human trafficking in a second novel, due out in the Fall.

Lori Townsend