Monday, July 27, 2015

In Times to Try the Soul of Man Kenneth Weene takes the facts from two major tragedies/crimes that occurred in the New York area and links them through fiction, producing a well written page turner. The first crime involves political corruption and a scheme to build high rise condominiums on land that can't support the weight. The second I won't mention because it would be a spoiler. This novel includes murder, political intrigue, and lots of sex.

Nick, the narrator of the novel, has a few redeeming qualities. He's loyal and respects people with ethics, such as Jose Figur├ęs, the president of the Lower East Side Latino Community Center. But Nick has some real issues. He has a lack of respect for women that verges on misogyny. He's drawn to them when masturbation “is just not enough” and his private nickname for the woman he seems to like the most is “Lard-Ass.” He's a reporter for a local newspaper, but hates his job and doesn't respect his boss (a woman of course). He longs for top level recognition (a Pulitzer) but doesn't like the process of writing. The book contains flashbacks to a horrible upbringing that explains some of his problems, but most seem to come from a lack of maturity.

Despite all of Nick's internal problems, the most serious issues he faces have to do with the corrupt and powerful people whose toes he has stepped on. Fortunately, he receives some help with these from Mo, a friend in the Mossad (Israel's version of the CIA). Espionage is what keeps the pages turning, but the best books are about characters who change and in this one we get to watch Nick grow. He has major problems and we're never sure how many of them he'll solve. That's what makes the book a great read.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions

No comments:

Post a Comment