Fractured: Dereck Dillinger and the Shortcut to OZ ISBN: 9781483599373 apparently published copyright 2017 and written by Eddie McPherson.
Thirteen-year-old Dereck is plagued with requests from his younger sister Jessie to read and re-read stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and more. If he does not she runs to their mother complaining. However, he loves his little sister and complies. His widowed mother must make a short trip leaving him to take care of Jessie. A violent storm arises during the night, she awakens him calling for help, the electricity fails, attempting to find his way he falls into the cellar and steps into a seemingly bottomless hole. Eventually he strikes bottom and discovers it to be the same rabbit hole that provided the prominent beginning of activities in The Wizard of OZ. However, here he is offered a short cut to the Wizard which will allow him to return home much more quickly to discover what has caused his sister to call him.
Discussion: The author has developed a plot woven around the basic Wizard of OZ with added fragments of other of Grimm’s Tales, additional fairies, good and bad witches and similar figures of fantasy. Fundamentally it is a well-written action packed thriller with humor and periods of suspense that provides a strong positive message of kindness, perseverance and family fidelity. It should have an appeal to children in the 6 to 12 or possibly slightly older group and as an aside, parents may find it somewhat more enjoyable to read to their younger children.
4* As described.
NACHASH’S NARRATIVE ISBN: 9781733957106 Seacoast Press, a novel copyright and written by Volker G. Fremuth.
The story begins with DC Metropolitan Police Officer Leroy (Roy) MacRay patrolling his beat when he finds a young woman on the ground violently coughing copious amounts of blood and struggling for breath. She does not respond to his chest compressions and is pronounced dead by ambulance personnel upon arrival. They inform him that they will take her to “our medical examiner” rather than the usual “the medical examiner”. This simple phrase causes a question in his mind and initiates a tale describing terrorist activity among the population of the city along with betrayal, deceit, treachery and misplaced trust reaching the highest levels of government along with relentless activity by rabblerousing fear mongers aided and abetted by a biased media. Roy, along with long-time buddies in the FBI and CIA and Rebecca (Becky) Glendale, a young and very talented Investigative reporter attempt to unravel the complicated situation only to be most seriously affected, as are the inhabitants of Mac’s beat in a depressed area of the city in which he is its most respected and liked figure of authority.
Discussion: In fictional form, the author has set forth a stunning portrayal of activities that do not seem too far removed from a situation that could easily develop in the United States in its present state of disarray. It is conjecturally informative and tremendously thought provoking. Much of the action is thriller-like and the descriptions of characters and their thought and action patterns most creditable. Some of the descriptive material at times makes for sections of heavy reading but really are quite pertinent to the overall theme. Thus, after a considerable amount of thought, I believe I can add little to what has been said in introductory material in the book itself. The author dedicates the book “To the men and women of law enforcement, though peril is your kin May you combat the demons before you, and cope with those within. Be wary of the demons behind you, their contempt is set afire. They’re lurking in the shadows, with Nachash they conspire.” A Forward follows from a man who is attempting to ‘do something’ “about the decline of our country”. He states “This book reflects many years of close observation and deep consideration of our nation’s trajectory …… From top to bottom, our society is vulnerable, and Volker captures the threat to our nation in a novel that ranges from the White House to the poorest urban block.” And the author’s Epilogue provides a final note of interpretation of the ancient Hebrew presentation of Eve, the snake and the Garden of Eden. This is a book you will remember and ponder long after reading the last line.
5* A book you will remember as the unrest within the country escalates.