Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review of Henry Franks by Peter Adam Salomon

Henry Frank
by Peter Adam Salomon
5 Scribbles
To be released September 8, 2012
Henry doesn’t remember the accident that gave him the scars on his body, and he isn’t sure why he is losing feeling in his hands. What he does know is that his mother died in the accident that caused his father to become eerily absent and caused Henry to forget. Something is not quite right on St. Simons Island. Could that something be connected with the series of murders that have been reported?

One of the most refreshing aspects of this gruesome mystery is the voice. Unlike so many novels now told in the first-person, "I" narrative, this novel is told from the outside looking in. This outside view, coupled with the sparse dialogue between the main character Henry, and those he speaks with gives readers a more crisp view of the action, but also a more limited view, very appropriate for a mystery. Clues are planted early, but they are subtle, and I challenge readers to decipher their meaning before the revealing climax. The novel’s setting is also a strength—it certainly ratchets up the creep factor. The environment is hot and steamy, causing Henry’s scars to nag and itch, thus building the reader’s feeling of unease, and the impending hurricane, coupled with Henry’s loss of feeling, builds pressure on the reader to discover the killer. Salomon’s technique is clipped, with the only true narration appearing in news articles, which not only builds tension, but drives reader crazy trying to predict the killer and the ending, making for an extremely satisfying read. This is Saloman’s debut novel—a promising beginning to a writing career I plan to follow!

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