ConTest: Double Life Review

ConTest: Double Life by Raheim Brooks
As submitted by me to Writer's Vibe Magazine.

Justice Lorenzo, an extraordinary character, a masterful felon with many tricks up his sleeve that could scare the average identity theft victim has real charisma. He undoubtedly knows his way around the criminal sector of life and has manipulated this way of life to cater to his needs and wants. As his arrogance, snappy responses and knowledge of the law make him a believably cocky character he is also smart, crafty and resourceful. Mr. Brooks did a good job getting us to believe that this man is unscrupulous.

William Fortune, another hot character who has the charm and money to swoon most women of destitute manner, but he has an award winning wife who is by no other standards a Ride-Or-Die chick. Her high profile job and beauty would cripple the ego of an insecure man, but not William Fortune. He’s a Best Selling criminal writer who happens to have a really close connection to Justice Lorenzo, whose life he is bringing to the pages of every manuscript in his writing career. No wonder the story is so good, it’s fiction based on reality.

This book is truly a gem of a plot filled with deception and mystery but the writing style of the author is quite complex. Numerous chapters ended at points that left the reader wondering what just happened, especially since it never picked up until the later chapters where Mr. Brooks pulled the loose ends together. A plus side is that each chapter was short (no more than 4 pages) which gave the reader great breakpoints and a feel that they were progressing through the book.

Another reference point to this book that I need to mention is how at times the author had so much to say about a scene that when it hit the paper, it didn’t flow as smoothly as the reader would want it to.

On page 193, “William continued to drive away from Silverstein’s in an emergency situation. Dire. In that post-9/11 society everyone had a practiced method to handle all emergencies. He responded to his alarm going off as quickly as inmates in a California pen hitting the ground when a tower guard yelled, “Yard Down!”  If that was true, why was William dragged out of his car at gun point by a masked man. A man that he didn’t not know……”
This excerpt let me asking these questions: Why do we have a post 9/11 reference? What alarm, I thought the man was driving? Why are we talking about jail calls when you just told me about 9/11? If he is driving how did he get pulled out his car? If the man was masked, how would he know who it is?

All in all, I liked the plot and what Mr. Brooks seemingly has to offer the literary community but editing and scene fluidity needs to improve.

Ace of Spade Review

Ace of Hearts by Jean Holloway

This first book in what the author affectionately calls the Deck of Cards series has really captivated my interest because it was a very easy read. It moved along at a reasonable pace which allowed me to understand and feel for the minor characters. The author did a great job incorporating likeable characters among the deadliest phenoms she brought to life. I would have liked to have seen the main characters more developed historically so that I actually know why they interacted the way that they did. 

For a few readers, the book may appear full of murder and sex. But I assure you, there is enough suspense to envelope the entire book as the sinister deeds of maraud happen in the first 10 pages.

As the first African American female officer to lead her department, Detective Shevaughn Robinson experienced the most tempestuous day of her career. Basically, she meets the most alluring reporter that she has ever met who wants to get to know her in all senses of knowing.  Despite the fact that during her interview with this attractive Caucasian, she is then presented with a case that just might make-or-break her career.  A serial killer is on the prowl and he’s looking to meet a dream name Shevaughn.

A mastermind of sorts that absolutely has no mind left is the other main character of the story. Well actually, he is the story. Eric Becker a wealthy executive for an advertising firm, who is more secure with his corner office than he is with his sexual prowess. That is, until he got a taste of what really drives him wild. With Eric’s undeniable power and financial resources he gets more and more determined to quench his thirst for total domination over his intended targets. His appetite of desire takes a strong constitution to handle but an even stronger constitution to read, as he takes S&M to a whole other level. 
The reader can’t help but exhibit mixed emotions when reading each fetish scene.

Based on the ending of this book, and despite the fact that at times the storyline can be predicted, I would strongly recommend reading this book and the next installment to see how Jean Holloway continues the drama.