Kirkus Reviews — The Angel Wore Black, written by C. Mack Lewis

Kirkus Reviews  — The Angel Wore Black, written by C. Mack Lewis

“An engaging detective series finale with a superbly animated cast.” Kirkus Reviews

Full Review:

THE ANGEL WORE BLACK

BY C. MACK LEWIS ‧ RELEASE DATE: JUNE 6, 2021

An Arizona private eye with a sordid past deals with missing persons and vicious homicides in this last installment of a trilogy.

It seems private investigator Jack Fox’s bed-hopping days are behind him. He’s trying to be a good father to 18-year-old college student Enid, the result of a one-night stand, and baby Katherine. Enid struggles with anger management and trauma from an ordeal in which she was forced to kill in self-defense. She’s on constant, almost paranoid guard, though her unease over Katherine’s mother, Eve Hargrove, makes sense. It hasn’t been that long since Eve escaped from prison, where she had been serving two life sentences for murder. Meanwhile, Jack takes a case for his ex-wife, a dominatrix who’s genuinely worried about her suspiciously absent “best Sub.” This has an unexpected connection to an unsolved murder from a couple of years ago—a homicide that crops up in other detectives’ investigations as well. As these cases clash, there’s a good chance Eve is involved. But whoever it is, someone more than willing to kill has cast Jack, his daughters, and others in a twisted, lethal game. Lewis, as in the earlier series volumes, loads her tale with grim melodrama, which takes precedence over the detective story. Mystery is fleeting; private eyes’ investigations take them either to people who adamantly withhold information or right to a killer’s door. Characters, nevertheless, practically burst with personality; they’re eccentric, flawed, and endlessly intriguing. And though the narrative is dark and sometimes brutally violent, it also flaunts a surprising amount of humor. Jack’s rival, gumshoe Dana Goode, is particularly memorable. She hilariously bickers with her office manager and takes fanatical glee in upsetting Jack. After a bleak but entertainingly over-the-top final act, the novel offers a solid series ending. Still, any of these characters could ignite a worthy spinoff.An engaging detective series finale with a superbly animated cast.

Get your free preview of The Angel Wore Black today!

Books Don’t Die. Books live on, quietly waiting to be discovered.

Books Don’t Die. Books live on, quietly waiting to be discovered.

As a writer, I’ve got that box in the basement that contains all of the short stories that I’ve written over the years. I came to a decision. I’m going to die someday and either that box is either going to be sitting in my basement or it’s going to grow legs and be out in the world. Thanks to Kindle self-publishing, it’s simply a matter of time and effort. Some short stories are new enough that all I have to do is change the format, copy and paste. The older short stories were actually written on *gasp* my old typewriter, which takes a bit longer to drag kicking and screaming into the new century.

A sneak peek into the soon-to-be-published ‘Pig-Eye Poem & Other Stories’ by C. Mack Lewis:

‘Pig-Eye Poem’ is the story about the time I worked in a Silk-City Diner and Nate-Nate-the-Queer-Bait wrote me a poem which he read at the Lower Alloway’s Creek while shaking a box containing a pig-eye.

‘Lair’ is the story of a Vietnam soldier who has his first kill under the command of a sadistic Sargeant.

‘Dead’ about the first autopsy I witnessed as a medical student where I can’t help but wonder if serial killers dream of being doctors – so they can have access to all those helpless organs under their blades?

The story of ‘Boots’ is about a woman who buys a pair of vintage thrift-store boots that, when worn, gives her the power to ‘fix’ things in her life – even if that means committing murder.

‘What She Bought’ is a story of a man who is cleaning out the closet of his recently deceased wife – and learns that his wife was not the woman he thought she was.

‘Tick Tock’ is a story written on the typewriter and I don’t even remember what it is about. I wrote it long ago in a land far, far away that goes by the name of ‘My First Marriage.’ I must have blocked it out and God only knows what that story contains!

‘The Toad King’ is flash fiction about an unhappy Toad Wife and exactly what she is willing to do to wrest the crown from her husband.

‘The Fix’ is hardboiled crime-noir about a down-on-his-luck journalist who gets a once in a lifetime scoop from his ex-lover who does not have his best interests at heart. What can you expect from a woman with eyes that shine like freshly minted cash, which our hero knows perfectly matches the color of her heart?

“She Got The Money’ is an unusual love story about the guy who never gets the girl and the girl who — well, I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

‘The Christmas Tree’ is about a bug-exterminator who falls for the Christmas tree of his dreams and plans the perfect burglary. Seriously folks, what could go wrong?

A writer friend of mine once said to me, “You certainly have no problem throwing your main characters under the bus.”

I don’t just NOT have a problem throwing my characters in harm’s way — I relish it!  

What are you waiting for?

Unless you think that you are going to live forever, download a copy of a Kindle book format (for free) and start the process of putting your book, poems, short stories out into the world today!

http://www.kayfranklin.com/kindle/free-kindle-publishing-book-template/

Please send me a link after it is published because I would love to feature you on my blog as a guest blogger.

 

 

   

 

 

A Review of the movie ‘Life’ — aka ‘falling in love with someone who can’t give you an orgasm.’

A Review of the movie ‘Life’ — aka ‘falling in love with someone who can’t give you an orgasm.’

Frustrating!

You meet the man of your dreams! He’s gorgeous, he’s successful, he knows exactly what to say to make your nether regions careen drunkenly South to Rio De Janeiro to do the samba all night long on some sultry Balneario beach. You want him so bad that you’d climb over your dead mother’s carcass to get to his goods. We’ve all been there — don’t deny it! As time goes by, it gets even better. You gaze wonderingly into his eyes, you share your dreams, your fears, your most intimate fantasies, but – finally, when that moment cums — I mean arrives — it’s Dudsville.

Welcome to the movie ‘Life.’ 

The performance of the actors is stellar. The set design is a nerd’s wet dream. The monster is exceptional, but…

*sigh*

The scientists are muttonheads.

I’m going to old-school it now – by referring to my personal gold standard of all alien movies – the ‘Alien’ franchise, written by the genius Alan D. Foster (series 1-3).

A (paraphrased) example:

Anyone in the Aliens movies (1-3): Oh my god! We have to save our friend from these horrible monsters!

Ripley: It’s too late. Let him die.

Then Ripley goes on to save herself and humankind.

Result: Respect. 

In the movie Life:

Anyone of the so-called Scientists in Life: Oh, my god! We have to save our friend from this horrible monster!

The other so-called Scientist: Yes, let’s save our friend! So what if the alien is attached to our friend’s leg and he is sure to die – let’s risk the survival of all of humankind and try to save our doomed friend!

Result: WTF!

Frustrating!

Oh, did I mention that already?

For future reference, here’s the three-part recipe to this type of movie: 

  1. There is always one character who has the ability to cut through all the bullshit and see the TRUTH. Ripley and, to some degree, the Jake Gyllenhaal character, understands that the individual must be sacrificed to save humankind from extinction at the hands of the monster.
  2. One character is secretly working against the group. In the Alien franchise, it was Ash, Burke, Golic, and Dr. Wren. In Life, it was maybe Ariyon Bakare.
  3. And, most importantly, you must have an ALIEN “whose perfection is only matched by it’s hostility.”

The problem with Life is that:

  • The scientists each have a critical moment when they can save everyone (and humankind!) by sacrificing themselves or a friend, but they don’t.

In the words of Crazy Horse before the Battle of the Little Big Horn, “Hokahey, today is a good day to die!”

‘Life’ could have been a classic! If only the writers had given the scientist characters their own Crazy Horse moment! If the writers had given each scientist a moment where they at least tried to sacrifice their own life to save the group — and humankind — this movie would have been a contender.

In the meantime, to keep frustration at bay —

there is always the Alien series —

and vibrators.