Reviews - October 2017

What They Say

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
—Hunter S. Thompson


Reviewers

Review Coordinator
Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., MHt:

Cynthia Lee Clark

Former Miss Chicago (Miss USA), Cynthia Lea Clark continued school, graduating from Northwestern University (multiple degreed), attended nursing school, and became a Firefighter Paramedic. After working as an actress in Chicago, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on many television shows, such as DAYS OF OUR LIVES and STAT, while continuing her education with a Masters in Psychology and then a Doctorate of Psychology. While working on STAT, she was stalked which led her to work in Forensic Psychopathology. She has over 70 interviews with serial killers, mass murderers, etc. Today she mixes Forensics with writing and acting.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the American College of Forensic Examiners International.

 

Aaron Paul Lazar:

Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.

 

Virginia Lo Monaco:

Virginia Lo Monaco

Virginia Lo Monaco lived in Sicily, Italy for 16 years and recently returned to California. She was trained as an operatic soprano, and has worked for numerous Opera Companies in America and was director of the Schola Cantorum for the Church of Sant'Anna in the town where she lived with her two dogs (including Tim, the overgrown Fox Terrier that co-stars in the Terry Strong, P.I., series) and three canaries. In order to pay for the years of vocal study, she worked for five years as a Fingerprint Technician for a sheriff's department and five years as a Group Counselor for juvenile offenders.

She started writing fiction in November, 1998. She started her first Terry Strong, P.I., novel, "Lethal Relations," in January, 2013.

She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Private Eye Writers of America, the Short Mystery Fiction Society and Sisters In Crime-Los Angeles Chapter.

The first Luigi Mancuso story, "Oil in a Day's Work," was published in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2002 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine. 

The second Luigi Mancuso story, "Hearts and Diamonds," was published in the April/May/June 2004 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine.

Among other short stories originally published in Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine were: "A Man of Honor," Feb/Mar 2001 and, "Saturday Night Reruns," April/May 2001.

She is a former editor of FMAM.

In July, 2001, "A Man of Honor" (translated into Italian), won SECOND PLACE in the Akery National Literary Competition in Acerra, Italy (V Edizione Concorso Letterario Nazionale di Narrativa "Akery"). In November, 2001, it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her Science Fiction short story, "Intermezzo a Cappella," won an HONORABLE MENTION in the Writer's Digest 2001 Writing Competition. It ranked 22 in a field of more than 1,600 genre short stories.


 

 

THE FMAM MOSTLY MYSTERY REVIEW is the place to come to find out what to read next. Want to know what readers are saying (as opposed to critics) about the books you see around you? You’ve come to the right place! And, if you appreciate a critical review we’ll have those, too. Come in, sit down and see what’s write with the world! (Or, right in the world of write!)

New reviews will be posted on FMAM the 1st day of each month. Reviews will be kept on the FMAM website for 12 months.

New reviews this month from:

Dr. Cynthia Clark . Aaron Lazar


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  • The Eulogist
    Jeffrey B. Burton
    The Permanent Press, 359 pages, $19.72, September 30, 2017
    ISBN: 978-1579625023

 

Drew Cady is a Special Agent with the FBI.  When a US Senator is assassinated, he is drawn in.  As he investigates he finds an eerie link to a junkie found in Baltimore killed in an identical way. Each was killed with one well-placed stabbing through the heart.  Each had a typed eulogy left near them.  Defiantly not a coincidence.

But what do a Senator and a junkie have in common? Then to create more confusion what is connected to this case and what are other cases?  A hit man from Canada?  A hacker? A Mexican drug cartel? A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s with a new miracle drug?  Is he being sent on wild goose chases?  Has someone rigged the system to throw him off?  Or are these cases par for the course? 

Just when you sit back and think ah, there is a bam, another killing, another red herring!  Jeffrey B. Burton has written an engrossing, exciting, thrill ride.  You won’t want to put it down.  Exciting from the beginning to the end.  As the cliché says, a page turner but in this case, it is true!  An excellent, suspenseful, heart pounding thriller. 

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.0.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security

 

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  • Title: The Edge of Revolt (The David Chronicles, Part III)
    Author: Uvi Poznansky
    Narrated by Robert M. Sterry
    ISBN: 978-0984993284
    Pages: 234


I’ve always enjoyed books by Uvi Poznansky, they are inevitably written with great skill and literary charm. This story is no exception. What astounds me about this series, however, is the amount of incredible research needed to pull off such a feat.

How Ms. Poznansky created such a vivid, detailed, true-to-life account leaves me  awestruck. It’s as if she peered inside the Bible, spoke with the characters and witnesses who were there, and then created a realistic and moving portrait of David’s life.

I listened to the audiobook version of this title, and was delighted with the quality and variety of the narrator’s character voices. From young man to elderly King, or from man to woman, Bob Sterry provided distinct and unique voices that made the story with many, many characters easy to follow. He also provided some unique talent during the passages where King David sings, with a rich voice definitely suited to this role.

The most impactful part of listening to this book, however, had to do with the emotions drawn from me during the process. I was literally yelling at characters during my drive to and from work, which must have made for some interesting comments by passers by. I grew to hate Amnon, understand Absalom, and was incredibly frustrated and angry at the main character for not standing up for his own daughter when she was violated. Sure, I know he had reasons, but to me—as a father—these reasons were not even close to sufficient. I felt fury and outrage and empathy and fear. There aren’t too many books that can bring forth such raw emotions in the retelling of Bible stories, are there? (To be clear, I am not very familiar with the original Bible stories which generated this book, and I’m reacting only as a reader of fiction, most certainly not as a Biblical historian.)

In addition to the riveting character studies, The Edge of Revolt is a colorful story that moves forward with tension and suspense, replete with intrigue and war, seduction and betrayal, and filled with spies of varying loyalties drifting through the King’s life.

Ms. Poznansky is a gifted writer in all genres, but this story will stay with me for a very long time. Highly recommended as a learning tool as well as a satisfying fictional listen.

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com