FROM NOIR JOURNAL
Turn Left at Paradise, Fred Zackel’s latest thriller available on Kindle, has crime, gore, mystery – but is basically a family drama. Make that melodrama. This family is decidedly dysfunctional.
Bobbie Kelly spent his life without coming to grips with spiritual challenges buried deep inside. That was before his massive heart attack. Now, facing mortality, his past haunts him – in the figure of his long-dead brother, Patrick.
He “escapes” ICU and flies back to the home of his childhood to right the old wrongs and give his soul a chance for at least Purgatory. He feels Paradise may be too great a hope.
Home was Cleveland, Ohio, and a massive blizzard greets him on his return after a gap of thirty-eight years. Weather becomes a character in the story. It’s bitter. It’s wicked. And with Zackel’s vivid prose, it chills the bones of the reader.
The weather is a total shock to Max Kelly, San Francisco police detective, who follows his father on this runaway trip. He – nor anyone from the past – quite understands Bobbie’s driven need to revenge his brother’s death and save his own soul.
Bobbie, ever pressured by the persistent presence of the ghost of his murdered brother, digs up bones, re-opens old wounds and brings chaos and death to lives that had quietly suppressed the past. His brother Patrick was a cop. Now old, retired cops, possible witnesses and family connections are dying as the killer strives to protect himself from justice once again.
It’s always a treat to read Fred Zackel’s writing style, whatever genre he chooses to portray. His scenes are vivid; his characters live and breathe; his action is graphic – often in a couple of definitions of the word. He doesn’t disappoint fans of his writing here.
It’s not common to describe family drama as noir, but dark and dirty Turn Left at Paradise certainly fits both categories.
Does life get any better?
No, really. Does it?