Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review - Simple Treasures by Alan Chin

Having read all of Alan Chin's books, I can honestly say that Simple Treasures is perhaps my favorite. Alan Chin always tells a story with a unique perspective, usually gleaned from a personal reference, and his characters are never the norm. Rather they are fully dimensional individuals who function within their stories as if it's not a narrative but a reality within a book that one is reading.

With Simple Treasures, Mr. Chin takes us on a catharsis of sorts, introducing us to Simple, a Shoshone Indian who has just been released from an institution. Simple goes to work for a hard edged old man named Emmett, who's dying from cancer after a lifetime of drinking and rough living. Simple's job is to care for Emmett in his final days. Only Simple finds that Emmett's world is shared by a grandson named Jude. Jude is a gay young man who sloughs around in Goth attire and generally doesn't have a lot to do with his grandfather, and the sentiment is not one sided either.

As Simple gets to know Emmett and Jude, he finds his feelings for both of them begin to evolve in ways he didn't think possible. While he plans to help Emmett set his spirit free through an ancient Indian ritual he also cannot deny that he and Jude are growing closer, physically as well as emotionally. As Simple strives to give both of his companions the closure and the freedom they each crave, he learns to give himself the same latitude.

Simple Treasures was a delight to read and the message it imparts does not end along with the book. As with Alan's other works, this one has a lesson that will remain with its readers long after the story is told. Well done.
5 Stars.

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Alan's Website:

Carey Parrish

Book Review - Lust, Money, & Murder by Mike Wells

Really irresistible page turner by novelist Mike Wells, Lust, Money, and Murder is the story of a woman out for revenge against the man who ruined her father and her vow to see him pay takes her on a journey around the world that is neither predictable nor dull in the slightest.

The heroine's name is Elaine Brogan. She watches in horror as her father is arrested for passing counterfeit money and the man she holds responsible becomes the catalyst for a dive into the world of a Secret Service agent, the grueling treatment Elaine must endure to become one, and then the time she must bide until her quest really begins.

As Elaine sets out to bring her father's nemesis to justice she goes on a wild ride through Bulgaria, Russia, and eventually Italy that gives the reader enough thrills to keep the pages turning as the climax, which is anything but what you might expect, comes into view. Add in the ingredients of romance and suspense and the result is a novel you won't want to end a page too soon.

Author Wells has written a real delight in Lust, Money, and Murder. It reads like something Sidney Sheldon might have written at the height of his literary career but the overall effect is a thoroughly enthralling story told by a writer who quite indelibly has a style all his own.
5 Stars.

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Mike's Website:

Carey Parrish