Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Fourth Descendant,” by Author, Allison Maruska

  • Title:  The Fourth Descendant
  • Author: Allison Maruska
  • File Size: 4503 KB
  • Print Length: 229 Pages
  • Publisher: Self-Published by Author
  • Publication Date: February 4, 2015
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00T100YB0
  • ISBN-10: 1507809840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1507809846
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Historical, Thriller
  • The Fourth Descendant by [Maruska, Allison]

    *I won a copy of this book in Dan Alatorre’s, First Word Weaver Contest and enjoyed the story so much I had to review it.*


“When Michelle receives a call from a Richmond historian, she sees the chance for a much-needed adventure. All she has to do is find a century-old key.

Three others – a guitarist, an engineer, and a retiree – receive similar calls. Each family possesses a key to a four-lock safe found buried in a Virginia courthouse, though their connection is as mysterious as the safe itself. Their ancestors should not have interacted, had no apparent reason to bury the safe, and should not have disappeared thereafter.

Bearing their keys, Michelle and the other descendants converge in the courthouse basement and open the safe, revealing the truth about their ancestors – a truth stranger, more deadly, and potentially more world-changing than any of them could have imagined. Now it’s up to them to keep their discovery out of the wrong hands.”


Needless to say, I was excited to find out that I had won two books signed by the author in Dan Alatorre’s First Word Weaver Contest in May 2017. By the way, Dan is sponsoring another Word Weaver contest for July. Click HERE to find out more.

The first book I delved into was, The Fourth Descendant.

The story begins by introducing the reader to four different people, who each receive a call from Alex Pratt, a representative from the Richmond Historical Society requesting their presence to help solve a mystery.

Recently, the city had done some renovations to the courthouse where they found buried beneath the floorboards a wooden box that contained a mysterious letter giving directions to a safe built into the basement wall that included four deadbolts.

Also included in the letter, was the puzzling information that each of the four letter signer’s descendants would possess the keys to open the deadbolts. All four keys were needed to open the locks at the same time.

The four descendants are unusual. Michelle Jensen is a wife and mother, the descendant of a Chinese immigrant. Jonah, a guitarist, is the descendant of a freed African slave. Damien, an engineer, is the descendant of an Irish immigrant; and Sharon Ellis, a widower, the direct descendant of an original English Colonist.

The four individuals have nothing in common except for the fact that somehow their ancestors had collaborated on something of great importance. Each of them agrees to pursue the mystery of the four keys.

Little do they know, but the secrets revealed to the four descendants lead them into discovering not only their ancestor’s pasts but their own futures. I found the characters to be well developed and realistic in their endeavors.

This book is an incredible mystery filled with suspense that drips off the pages much like a Dean Koontz novel. I could not put it down. Filled with twists and turns, this saga will keep you on your toes trying to figure out what happens next. The ending was not what I expected!


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars


Author, Allison Maruska

About the Author

Allison is a YA and mystery/suspense author, blogger, teacher, mom, wife, coffee and wine consumer, and owl enthusiast. Her blog includes humor posts, short stories, and posts on writing strategy, parenting, and teaching.

Author contacts:


Facebook: Allison Maruska, Author

Twitter: @AllisonMaruska

Love youThanks for stopping by to hear about The Fourth Descendant, and to meet Allison. ❤