Book Review: The Hills Be Shaken by Michael Stewart

“I’m just an engineer.”

Michael Stewart, The Hills Be Shaken

Title: The Hills Be Shaken
Series: Mose Haley (Book 1)
Author: Michael Stewart
Genres: Thriller, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 298 (Kindle)
Published: April 13th, 2022

My Rating: ★★★★
Read: 9/4/2022 – 9/9/2022


Mose is an engineer recruited by the FBI after the collapse of a dam that killed thousands. Was it a natural disaster? Or was it an attack?

Aside from being an engineer turned agent, Mose is a family man who first and foremost wants to keep his family safe. Michael Stewart creates a realistic protagonist who isn’t ‘too good to be for real’ like many stories in this genre. He’s a regular person who excels in his field. He has a relatable home and social life, making it easy to connect with him.

The plot was well-executed and gripping. There were a few slower spots, however, it all came together in the end. It’s a thought-provoking story as well with the ‘Little 9/11’ disaster involved. Many of us learned through terrible experiences how a seemingly innocent object can be used for evil. As I read, I started thinking about what else might be a disaster waiting to happen.

Lastly, I want to applaud the book’s religious undercurrent. Biblical themes worked their way into the story either through the characters’ beliefs (or lack thereof) or the plot itself. Without giving too much away, an experience Mose has toward the end after hearing a sermon was particularly clever.

The author’s note mentions a second book in the works. I’m excited to continue!

A huge thanks to the author for providing me with a free digital copy of the book to read and review!

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Mose. A terrific underdog protagonist.
  • The slow build-up. It’s not often I enjoy this pace in a thriller, but in this situation, it worked well.
  • As mentioned above, the religious undercurrent.

What I didn’t like:

  • There were a handful of moments that dragged on with content that didn’t feel super important to the plot.
  • A lot of characters to keep straight.


All in all, an enjoyable read. The author tells me that there is an audiobook in the works, so if that’s your preferred method for reading, please keep your eye out for its release!

Where to buy the book:

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