Forest Park Book Review

Forest Park: Logan Book 2 (The Logan Series), by Valerie Davisson

Review by Larry J. Dunlap

In Forest Park, two story lines intersect:

One is set in the past as Saigon is about to fall. Two Vietnamese friends: Nguyen Chinh, an ARVN Major in the South Vietnamese Army, and a successful black marketeer named Cong. Their curious relationship is based on their school years when Chinh used to protect the weaker Cong. Major Nguyen has connections that can get Cong out of Saigon to the United States; he only asks that his friend Cong accompany his wife and young son and watch over them in America.

The second story line begins in the present when Logan McKenna, the main character, runs across the descendants of these two men while visiting Portland, Oregon.

Logan McKenna is a teacher creating a music-based curriculum to help children learn more easily. She lives happily in a suburb of Laguna Beach with her dog Purgatory and cat Dimebox in a small home built over a garage. Logan intends to combine pleasure with business when she makes a trip to Portland to meet an old friend who is working on a project similar to her own.  After spending some days studying the New School’s work outside of the city, she plans to meet Ben, her boyfriend of six months, at a hotel in downtown Portland.

Logan’s first contact with the Nguyen descendants happens during a visit to their food truck. Through narration, the author reveals the back story of the two Vietnamese men introduced in the Prologue. Sonny, the offspring of  Cong, the black market operator, head of a flourishing underworld gang in the American Northwest, decides not to wait for his inheritance and arranges his father’s murder. Determined to multiply his new enterprises’ successes, he squeezes his father’s protection racket victims, which includes Mrs. Nguyen and Thanh’s food truck.

Logan does what she can to help the police, and to assist Thanh and her brother Huey as they work their way through mayhem and catastrophe all the while putting her relationship with Ben on hold. This intriguing story involves gang violence, patricide, retribution, and redemption and Logan must play her part while struggling with her personal relationship.


Readers who enjoy Sue Grafton’s and J.A. Jance’s books may enjoy Forest Park: Logan Book 2 (The Logan Series). I found the tragic story of the two Vietnamese men and their descendants to be a very interesting component. There was an element of tragedy similar to those of other immigrant cultures trying to make their way in the United States. I was also fascinated by the concept of using music to aid teaching.

About the Author: Valerie Davisson

Inspiration for Forest Park

…came from her love of Portland, Oregon and all that makes it the unique city that it is. It was the natural backdrop for vastly different but interlinked characters, each seeing the same events from very different perspectives.

Author Website: 

Valerie Davisson, Author

Valerie Davisson, Author

Bio: A self-admitted book addict, Valerie was the kid with the flashlight under her pillow. A life of travel with exposure to many different cultures led to a pervasive interest in people, with degrees & teaching credentials in Cultural Anthropology & English.

Writing and Teaching became twin passions, and she feels lucky to pursue both. With the support and distraction of her husband, John, their 6 children, a growing tribe of grandchildren, and a very supportive Girls’ Night group, she is hard at work on Book 3, Logan’s next adventure.

Amazon Author Page:

5 thoughts on “Forest Park Book Review

    1. Thanks, Michelle! If you get a chance to leave a review on Amazon, it is always appreciated. And I’ll be happy to send an advanced review copy for DEVIL’S CLAW: Logan Book 3 as soon as the publisher is ready.

  1. Thanks, Larry! I had a great time researching and writing FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2. The origins of the story came to me while enjoying an early morning cup of hot, Portland coffee at the Sentinel Hotel as the city woke up. The picture windows look out onto the food court trailers. That area brings together such diverse people – all operating in their own worlds – many coming from vastly different backgrounds.

    DEVIL’S CLAW: Logan Book 3 brings Logan back home to Jasper, CA. It’s in the finishing stages and will be released this Fall.

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