By Jack L. Kennedy
One sure way to chill out during July: read a book.
Surprises are between the covers, particularly if the authors are new or unknown and need your support or solace. The writing can be promising, uneven or inept, but subject or setting or characters can be compelling. This is not the case with Conspiracy in the Heartland, Fairy Tale or Fore Tell (AuthorHouse) by J. Wayne.
Perhaps, it is not the best sign of things to come when the author does not use his or her first name or, in this case, alludes to an American icon without exhibiting the "true grit" that the name implies. The rather thin volume pretends to be a fiction work but comes off as more of a political diatribe, a poorly-edited treatise on what he or she calls “the socialist agenda...being crammed down the throats of Americans in the veiled political movement called progressivism.” The central figures, we are told, are “the polecats in Washington.”
Political books, fact or fiction, can be informative, thought-provoking or even fun. But in this case, the point of biased view is stated so early, the structure such a sophomoric attempt at a fairy tale, that it is difficult to follow regardless of one’s own feelings on any policy move or political posturing.
The pseudo-story, for example, has such characters as Bee Gee, Secret Service men, The Feminatzi, Criminal, Courage and General Brave Heart. Whether or not the reader agrees with the author’s myopic views and lack of both subtlety and character development, it is obvious that little literary or grammatical advice came to the author from the publisher or from any other direction.
It is not, as it is described, “a suspenseful political fiction.” It is childish propaganda, a rambling, foaming editorial. We are told that the author wrote the book in order to “find clearer answers.” One should assume the search is still on.
For another look at this title by a professed liberal go here.
Title - Conspiracy in the Heartland, Fairy Tale or Fore Tell
Author: J Wayne
Publisher: AuthorHouse (Sept. 21,2010)
$14.99 (paperback) at amazon.com
On the other hand...
Joshua Hartzell’s The Bondsmen—Murder on the Run (Yorkshire Publishing) shows some promise. It draws readers in with a feeling that the author knows and cares about his characters and also knows that fiction, unlike pretentious political fairy tales, can be real and relevant.
The author is unpretentious as he, a working bounty hunter and bondsman, unfolds his tale of two law enforcement friends, Jack and Ryan. The friendship is important to the book,and is established early during their mutual farm boy days in Indiana. This simple story of pursuit and resolution pulls the reader along on the bondsmen’s manhunt.
Sometimes it seems difficult to put a finger on what makes one author promising and another just aspiring, but Hartzell seems to have a knack for storytelling, even though it is waiting to be further developed.
There are times when characterization, interaction or motivation could be drawn with a bit more depth, the annoying habit of separating every few paragraphs with a line scrapped, and editing used to reduce plot redundancy and remove grammatical and typographical errors, but Hartzell's characters are interesting enough to involve the reader who would want to see a sequel some time soon. In this initial effort, however, the tale ends at Christmastime--a cooling thought in these 100-degree days.
Title - The Bondsmen--Murder on the Run
Author: Joshua Hartzell
Publisher: Yorkshire Publishing (June 11, 2010)
$12.95 (paperback) at amazon.com