Top positive review
5.0 out of 5 starsA fascinating episode in a terrific series
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 17, 2023
Iowa author Craig A. Hart is both a writer and an editor: he has served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine, as manager for Sweatshoppe Media, and director of Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired. His works have been published in The Orange Room Review, Voices, The Stray Branch, Red Poppy Review, The Mindful Word, Inclement, Right Hand Pointing, 7x20 Magazine, among others. In addition to writing fiction Craig has published self help manuals on writing and critiques of other writers’ works. Craig co-authors this espionage series with New York author Scott James (S.J.) Varengo, a man who attended Fordham University and the State University of New York at Potsdam with a degree in Art History. While both men are successful while writing individually, their combined talents make this series THE SHELBY ALEXANDER THRILLER SERIES ring with a fresh combination of unique locales and espionage.
Hart and Varengo together are a tough team to beat! They are able to infuse a sense of urgency to their new Shelby Alexander episode even in the first lines; ‘Shelby sat in a chair beside the hospital-style bed and looked at his hands. They were clutched together so tightly he could have wrung blood form the proverbial turnip. He had always bated hospitals, but this wasn’t even a hospital. No, this was worse. Far worse. Because people didn’t come here to heal - they came here to die.’ The authors place the central character caring for his dying wife in a hospice and the episode ignites.
The authors provide a quick overview of the plot: ‘It's been five years since Shelby's last adventure. He's finally followed through on his original goal when he first moved back to his boyhood town of Serenity, Michigan. Namely, to settle down and enjoy life. But did he decide too late? His health is suffering. His social circle is shrinking. And then comes the knock on his door. Revealing the son he never knew he had. But is that all there is to the story? Or is there something more sinister at work? In addition to being forced by circumstances to reevaluate everything in his life to this point, Shelby must now decide whether or not to trust this newcomer, someone who could hold great joy--or great heartbreak--as Shelby enters life's third and final act.’
Written with a finely tuned balance of suspense, adventure, and a touch of humor, this seventh episode zings - proving a fine dark night’s read. Recommended.