Thursday, April 30, 2015

Souza Begins New Path With Unpaved Surfaces



Unpaved Surfaces
by Joseph Souza
341 pages
$3.99 Kindle version

PRESS RELEASE:
 
AUTHOR PENS NEW MYSTERY ABOUT A MISSING BOY
Maine—Maine author Joseph Souza has released a compelling new mystery set in coastal Maine. Unpaved Surfaces (Kindle Press) tells the story of a family still grieving after their son and brother goes missing.
 
Enter into the life of an ideal family--Auggie is a happy nine-year-old boy whose father, Keith, loves him more than anything. Keith's life seems ideal--until one day Auggie vanishes. A year has passed since Keith's son disappeared, and he's haunted by glimpses of his son appearing in his small Maine town. With the investigation at a dead end and his family paralyzed with grief, Keith worries that he's losing his mind. In a thrilling twist, the case turns in a new direction--a direction that could either heal his family or tear them, and the rest of the town, apart.
 
Joseph Souza has published five books and has been an Amazon bestselling author. He was awarded the prestigious Andre Dubus Award for short fiction from the University of Southern Maine. He also accepted Honorable Mention from Dennis Lehane for The Al Blanchard Award at Crimebake, New England’s largest crime-writing conference. In 2013 his novel THE REAWAKENING won the Maine Literary Award for Speculative Fiction. In its review of THE REAWAKENING, his award-winning novel, The Portland Press Herald said, “Its impact on a reader reminds me of the old Stephen King classic, The Shining.”
 
MY REVIEW:
 
It's very rare to find an author who can write well in more than one genre. I always thought Souza was a talented horror author, but after reading this murder mystery/crime drama, I want Souza to give up the zombies and continue down this road that begins with Unpaved Surfaces.

The cast of characters are extremely well-developed and believable, and switching between their POVs gives the readers a 360 degree view of the impact of the child abduction at the heart of the story.

This novel is guaranteed to take readers on an emotional journey they will not soon forget. I think this story would also make a great movie.
 
I also recommend his Living Dead series, and his Liger series for zombie fans. ;)

As always,
AstraDaemon

Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: Twilight of the Outlaws (Nonfiction)


Twilight of the Outlaws
by Donald Charles Davis
193 pages
$9.99 Kindle version

Some people see a group being harassed by law enforcement and think, "That's their problem...nothing to do with me or my social circle," especially if that group contains individuals who have broken the law. I see a piece of a bigger picture concerning our constitutional rights being dismantled right under our noses.

When I saw that the show, Gangland Undercover, was based on a book by Charles Falco, being a book reviewer, I was curious. However, when I review nonfiction, I make it a point to do my own fact-checking.

I was surprised with what I found (and fairly disgusted as a taxpayer), so I dug further, and my research led me to AgingRebel.com, which is run by no other than the author of Twilight of the Outlaws. I found the "other side" to be rather interesting.

Davis begins with an intro that digs straight into the heart of his book: motorcycle outlaws are real, but they are not the one-size-fits-all stereotype fed to the general public.

Zach Tipton was a husband, father and son, and he was also a patch-holder. He broke the law more than once. Does this mean he deserved to be murdered? As Davis explains, "Outlaws care who you are but they care more that you are who you say you are...Zach Tipton suscribed to that outlaw code. He died for that code and his fatal flaw was a naive and foolish belief that the man who shot him in the head suscribed to that code as well."

What I like about the author's writing style is the way he lays it all out, without sugar-coating any of it. Davis is not just sharing events, but also explaining the dynamics between the motorcycle clubs, as well as their histories - with each other AND with law enforcement.

There is a LOT of information to take in, and, at times, it can be overwhelming (I gave 4 stars instead of 5 for editing issues, such as repetitiveness), but the content is a real eye-opener. Davis often focuses on the behind-the-scenes politics that continue to paint a picture of outlaw bikers as thoughtless, reckless and lawless thugs.

I especially like the way Davis takes U.S. and world events and shows how those events affected the evolution of motorcycle clubs and their members (for example: the Vietnam War).

Even if you have zero-interest in the life of an outlaw biker, I encourage you to read this book for the historical value, if for no other reason. Within these pages, Davis offers a piece of American history that continues to grow within our society.

As always,
AstraDaemon