Kirkus Review

 

Whore of Babylon (french illuminated "Boo...

Whore of Babylon (french illuminated “Book of Revelation”) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It may seem funny, maybe even egotistical, but I thought that I would give a few excerpts from a review that I received from Kirkus.  The main reasons that I am doing this are 1.)it’s my best review and 2.)Kirkus is considered THE most prestigious of all.  Now, I will admit that some of the compliments are left-handed, and I tend to agree with some of their points, so…  “Fritchie’s storyline is suspenseful, interesting and well-researched”.  Now after this, the reviewer says that I tend to tip my hand a bit, which I admit may be a bit true, but, come on!  It’s my first attempt at a novel and it was a bit rushed.  The next line that I would like to present is, “The narrative sometimes belabors a plot point or glosses big reveals, leaving the reader searching for a bit more explanation.”  Now, if I explained every little point and left nothing to the reader’s imagination,the book would probably be twice as long, don’t you think?  Finally, I would like to present their final line: “An exciting but awkwardly paced detective novel.”    As I said, not every author might consider these compliments as major kudos, but when you consider that I went from looking on the internet for a literary agent to having an independent publisher within one day, then I hope that you see this as at least a hopeful sign in your literary endeavors.  Besides, why would I brag about crappy reviews; I may be a bit odd, but I’m not an idiot!   So, with this all said, I hope that you will give my novel, The Corporate Whore of Babylon, an open-minded chance and good luck to those who wish to pursue writing as an occupation!

 

 

 

Excerpt- Part 2

Chapter Twenty-two

As everyone probably knows, birds do not have the largest of brains. In Sasha’s case, it wasn’t so much intelligence as it was mischief. It was a nice summer day with a light breeze flowing through an open window, when Sasha, flying innocently along, caught something in his eye. Maybe it was a sparkle from the laminated cover, or maybe it was just pure spite, but Sasha flew down and landed on the book. At first, Sasha was not sure what he should do with this object. He did see that his owner used his featherless wings to cause the object to open, but Sasha knew enough to not attempt the same action with his wings. Instead, Sasha decided to use his beak which, unfortunately, did not have a good effect on the pages of the book.

“Sasha! What the hell are you doing? Stop that, you dirty bird!” Having heard one of his favorite expressions, Sasha stopped what he was doing and, turning his head to the side, looked over at his owner. The man came over to Sasha, picked him up and put him back into his cage. “That’s enough out of you, for now.” His owner then picked up the object, sat down with his cup of coffee, and skimmed through some of the pages. When he got to one line in the text, he stopped, reread it and then dog-eared the page. He then got out his laptop and logged on. He checked to see if Alex had sent him any e-mails. There weren’t any, so he wrote one to Alex: I have just looked in the book on Assyrian history from the Babble case. I found something interesting. It seems that Resheph was a Canaanite god of plague and war. He was also associated with lightning as a weather god. Under the Egyptian pharoah Amenhotep II, Resheph was popular as a god of horses and chariots. He is also mentioned several times in the Bible, again associated with lightening and plague. I have also found a reference to Namtar. In Mesopotamian mythology, Namtar was a god of death and a messenger of An, Ereshkigal, and Nergal. He was also considered as being responsible for diseases and pests. In the story of Inanna’s Descent into Hell, Namtar, as Ereshkegal’s messenger, curses Inanna with 60 diseases. He is also believed to be the personification of death, i.e. the Grim Reaper. So, with all of this in mind, where does this take us? And do we really want to go there? James. He expected Alex to take a while to get back to him, so he used the time to go deeper into the book to see what other “coincidences” he could find. He also had a feeling that there would be another trip to Idaho in his future. All because Sasha was in one of his moods. Oh well.

Read more in “The Corporate Whore of Babylon.” available at www.xlibris.com

What goes on

There are several events in my book The Corporate Whore of Babylon  which are relevant to the primary murder.  The murder of a hustler is relevant because it is handled by a fellow detective,Lt. Donna Henson, who has worked with Detective Gladd before.  It is eventually revealed that her murder victim is connected to Gladd’s investigation.  Both of these detectives are also assisted by a techno-nerd with a penchant for disguises using a pseudonym of Alexander Dali.  Lt. Henson’s victim leads the trio to a yacht in Newport Beach which is owned by one of William Babble’s sons.  The question becomes, did one of his sons kill the hustler or did someone else?

Another event of relevance is Det. Gladd’s trip to a small town in Idaho.  This aids in giving more information to the reader about the “bad guy” and what the trio of investigators are up against.  While Gladd is checking into strange things in Idaho, Alex Dali is in Ebert County, Georgia following up on a lead that the Georgia Guide Stones may hold an answer to some of the mystery behind Babble’s death.

I also have used some other recent areas of interest to conspiracy theorists, such as the Bildenberg Conference, the Mayan Prophesy, and a (sorry,the group’s name eludes me right now) group of politicians and business leaders who go on a yearly retreat in the Russian River area in Northern California.

I feel that these factors help to draw in people who are interested in these subjects and, at the same time, create a venue for pro and con discussions.  These subjects have been the topics of Brad Meltzer’s and Gov. Jessie Ventura’s television shows.  I admit that I was inspired by these shows, but the fact that they are being discussed makes this book relevant in today’s, what I like to call, “sheeple” society.

A Few of my Favorite Reads

It is a bit difficult to decide which genre I favor and which authors or books had an influence on me.  I like Science Fiction (Robert Heinlein, Terry Pratchett, and Piers Anthony, for example), History, and Horror/Mystery fiction (Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz).  Science fiction is fascinating to me because it is a genre which encourages imagination.  I am interested in mostly the unusual figures of history, i.e. Tsar Peter the Great, Salvador Dali, and Alexander the Great.  Horror/Mystery is a type of genre which I believe was created by Edgar Allen Poe, who, even though he was a flawed personality, gave us some of the greatest stories of this genre.

Of these various genres, though, I would have to say that Horror/Mystery is the biggest influence in my novel, The Corporate Whore of Babylon.  The gothic charm of Robert

Robert R McCammon books - Powells

Robert R McCammon books – Powells (Photo credit: Photos by Mavis)

McCammon’s works helped me in deciding to use the darkness behind our fears and how we allow others to influence us in our daily lives, whether in politics or social issues.  This theme is also very much in evidence in the works of Dean Koontz who blends mystery and horror so well.  One other influence in my book is the psychological darkness found in

some Russian novelists such as Dostoyevsky and Gogol.  Granted, I may not have reached the heights of these authors’ abilities to paint with a consistent palette, but, I believe that for a first effort,  I did a passable (trying to be humble here) job.

Theme

The theme of my novel, The Corporate Whore of Babylon, is the misuse of power and how it causes people to be led into doing things which they might not normally do.  It also centers on how people are easily manipulated by fear.  The main character, Detective James Gladd, is a man who has overcome some of his own demons and now, due to his involvement in solving a tycoon’s mysterious murder, must face different demons, both figuratively and in reality.  He is aided in this venture by a detective who, due to her own case which is linked to Gladd’s, joins in his hunt, and a wealthy techno-nerd who has a fondness for disguises.

 

The four sons of the murdered tycoon, William Babble, are forced to decide whether power is more important in their lives or whether they will do anything to help Detective Gladd and his friends.  When one of the four brothers decides to side with Goodness, he uses his power to help Gladd.  His older brothers, however, are sucked into a cult whose main purpose is to take over the world.

 

There are several references to sites which are dominant in a lot of today’s conspiracy theories, i.e. the Georgia Guidestones.  At the beginning of the book, there is a reference to the Mayan Prophecy about the end of the world which was a big news “item” in 2012.  Summer’s Place in Idaho, which is where the cult meets to draft their plans for world domination, is based on a slightly similar group in Northern California which was the focus of a television series.  So, one could say that this book is another standard story of good vs. evil, but then isn’t all of Life this same struggle?

 

English: Georgia Guidestones

English: Georgia Guidestones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Corporate Whore of Babylon: Excerpt

Chapter Three

The annoying alarm clock went off besides the head of the sleeping detective. As he made his way up from the sands of sleep, he opened one eye and saw that it was noon. Normally he would have been at work by now but, due to the inconvenient death of Mr. William Babble, he had to return home to try to capture the hours that he had lost. So, he got out of bed, took a shower, checked his face to see if he needed a shave (he decided that he didn’t), and left his apartment. When he arrived at the station, he headed to his desk and found a note there. Captain Janus requested his presence, so he went to his boss’ office. As he went up to the half-opened door, he heard Janus just putting down his phone’s receiver. He knocked.

“Come in,” said Janus.Untitled

“You wanted to see me Captain?”

“Yes. I received a call from Doctor Chang concerning the Babble case. It looks like it was murder. He said that he found a small puncture mark in Mr. Babble’s back hairline. I told him that I would send you over to the labs when you got in.”

“You got it Captain.”

“Be sure to report back to me when, or if, you get any more details. If looks like you’re going to be a bit busy for awhile because I’m putting you on this case”.

“Gee, thanks, boss”.

“No problem”, he said with a small smirk on his face.

“So, Doc, what specifically have you found”?

“Well, the puncture mark that I found in the victim’s hairline is definitely from a syringe. I’ve drawn some blood and am expecting an analysis soon to confirm my suspicions.”

“Well, what are your suspicions”?

“From what I’ve observed, it looks like death occurred by heart attack induced through the introduction of a large dose of potassium chloride”.