Crude Ambition Cover

Crude Ambition

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Patricia Hunt Holmes
Categories: Mystery / Thriller / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: River Grove Books (Greenleaf Book Group)
Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 326

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Crude Ambition cover

A Texas Reckoning

In the early morning hours after a law firm recruiting party at a beachside house on Galveston Island, a female summer intern is found lying on the floor, bruised, bleeding and unconscious. Four men and one young woman attorney who were staying at the house know something terrible happened.

The woman attorney takes her to a hospital but the next day the intern disappears. All of them decide to keep silent, doing nothing about the incident in order to further their own career ambitions while the events of that night haunt the two women. Time passes and then ten years later, crime and hubris bring the former intern back into their lives. Only this time she has the power and the truth is finally brought to light, uprooting everyone’s plans.

From the power centers of Houston law and oil to the fracking fields of South Texas to the Jersey Shore and Washington D.C., this story chronicles the struggles of two ambitious young women in their quest for legal success and justice.

Banner: Now Available: A Texas Reckoning - Crude Ambition by Patricia Hunt Holmes. (Banner also includes book cover.)


“Crude Ambition is a great read. It is an authentic look at big law in Houston and the Texas oil business. Patricia Hunt Holmes weaves a story of ambition, greed, romance and revenge that kept me turning the pages until all the just desserts were served.”
—Marc Grossberg, J.D., Author of The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors
“In Crude Ambition, Patricia Hunt Holmes shows she knows Texas in the way Grisham knows Mississippi—politics, environment, strong men and strong women, egos, oil, arrogance, influence and hunger for power. I don’t think anyone could have nailed it better.”
—Bill Sarpalius, Former U.S. Congressman, Author of The Grand Duke of Boys’ Ranch


Clueless Gent’s Rating for Crude Ambition

5 star rating

Crude Ambition is one of the most satisfying stories I’ve ever read. The book was written by Patricia Hunt Homes, but I have no doubt that Mr. Karma (Or is it Ms.?) was a major contributor. I was fully engaged from cover to cover, and I’m still reeling from my enjoyment of it.

The story is set in Houston, with offshoots to the Texas Hill Country, the Panhandle, and even Washington, D.C. The storyline follows the paths of two young, professional women with high ambition. They are both attorneys. One works for a large Houston firm, and the other for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Most of the story revolves around the oil business, particularly as it relates to “fracking” – the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into the ground in an attempt to force open fissures in the earth to extract oil or gas.

There are numerous stories about the Texas oil business, as well as the “good ‘ol boys club,” but I think this story provides a unique perspective. The story evolves almost entirely around the white collar professionals – attorneys, accountants, etc. – who provide the infrastructure for the oil business.

Although some of the characters are rather shady, there is only one true antagonist – oil magnate Joe Bill Hawkins. He has absolutely no empathy, and he will gladly step on anyone and everyone to get what he wants. If he gets accused of doing anything illegal, he points fingers and shifts blame faster than a speeding bullet!

Okay, enough about the storyline. Now I’ll tell you what I liked about the story: EVERYTHING!

I’ll start with the description. I loved how the author provided her description. When a new scene started, she provided a wonderful description of the setting, and then she got right down to business with the characters. For example, when a meeting was about to take place at a great room on a ranch, this is how she described the room:

“Bighorn sheep, antelope, deer, a brown bear, and other trophies filled the walls of the stone and log entry hall and great room. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace big enough for a man to stand in was on one side of the room. Mesquite wood burning in the fireplace gave off a sweet aroma. Windows lined the wall looking west, providing a view of the rolling countryside covered with scrub brush, live oak and mesquite trees, and breathtaking sunsets.”

Afterward, she got right down to the business of the meeting.

Next comes the characters. The character arcs are fantastic. A few of them surprised me, but not in a negative way. Further, even though most of these characters live life way above the pay grade of the average reader, the author did an amazing job of making all of them vulnerable – just like many of us. For instance, Carolyn – the main character – is very driven to rise to the partner level in the law firm. However, she has a number of internal clashes as she tries to decide just what she’s willing to do – or more importantly, not do – to get where she wants to go.

“It reminds me of something my daddy says: Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.” —Paul Robinson, Esq.

As I said, the story revolves around fracking. However, and thankfully, we don’t get knee-deep in the process. Rather, the author takes us into the world of the attorneys and accountants who do the contracts and charge the oil companies massive fees to keep them legal. The author managed to make this part quite interesting! As a retired CPA, I know how some of this stuff works, such as independent audits and due diligence, and that is all part of the story, but it’s in a very “lay way” – so that anyone can understand it.

I would love to tell you more about the storyline, because I thought it was fantastic and quite original, but I won’t. I’ll let you have the pleasure of discovering that yourself. I also said Mr. (or Ms.) Karma was a major contributor to this story. If you read it, you’ll know exactly what I mean, and I hope it satisfies you as much as it did me!

This is another story that I highly recommend! Happy reading!!

I received a free copy of Crude Ambition from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.

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the Author

Patricia Hunt Holmes Author Photo

Patricia Hunt Holmes spent 30 years as a public finance attorney with a large international law firm, specializing in nonprofit healthcare finance and rural electric cooperative finance. Consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, and Top Lawyers in Houston, she was a frequent speaker at national public finance and health care conferences. Patricia has also served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She has written and published in the fields of intellectual history and law.
In addition to her legal career, Patricia has been a member and board member of several social service organizations throughout Houston, including the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast Women’s Initiative, Dress for Success Houston, the University of Houston Women’s Studies Program, University of Houston Law Review Board of Directors, is a Trustee of the Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Justice for Our Neighbors.
Patricia grew up in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey but has lived in Houston for over 40 years. She has two daughters, Hillary and Ashley, who have successful careers as an attorney and a geologist, and three adorable grandsons. She is an avid golfer and traveler.
Patricia holds a BA in English and History, an MA in History, and a PhD in Russian and South Asian History with honors, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and was an editor on the Houston Law Review.
1st: $75 Gift Card to Murder By The Book bookstore
2nd: $50 to
(US only, ends midnight, CDT, 8/20/2021)
Crude Ambition tour giveaway graphic. Prizes to be awarded precede this image in the post text.
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