Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: 'An Angel On Her Shoulder' by Dan Alatorre

Author and humorist Dan Alatorre became a first-time dad at the age of 47 - a daughter by the name of Savvy. His comedic debut book "Savvy Stories" tells humorous tales about a loving dad who sees the magic in children, and isn't a bumbling stooge about changing diapers like some TV sitcom. Dan was born in Ohio, and graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida before earning an MBA from Tampa College. Dan, Michele and Savvy live in the Tampa area. Beware! There is a problem with reading Dan Alatorre's book - Savvy Stories Series: They are addicting. Few writers today have that keen gift for finding the humor in challenging situations and Dan has a secure place at the top of the heap for comedic writing. He knows how youngsters think, and better ye he knows how to appreciate their joyful outlook ...and wisdom.

Now. After his many successes in writing humor Dan turns his attention to the paranormal/ghost/psychic/suspense book genre – and here he succeeds just as well. His talent is so fluent that after the first few pages deciding whether or not Dan is capable of entering ‘the dark night’ is succinctly answered positively: ‘“Call 911! CALL 911!” The man’s shouts ripped through the tasting room of scenic Hillside Winery. At the counter, Mallory lowered her brochures for 2017 vintages and glanced over her shoulder, unable to see who had called out. The other customers, two dozen or so elderly tourists and a smaller group that called the server by name, were looking around, too. With confusion working its way into their expressions, nobody moved or called 911. The man’s voice rose, straining with fear and urgency as his words boomed down the hallway and spilled over them. “Somebody call 911! There’s been an accident in the parking lot!” A robust fellow, gray at the temples but broad in the shoulders and belly, pushed away from the tasting counter and headed toward the shouts. “Martin.” The woman next to him reached out for his arm. “Don’t. You’re not on duty.” He didn’t break stride. “A cop is never off duty.” Rejoining the others at the granite countertop, his wife muttered to herself but for the benefit of anyone within earshot. “Retired ones are.” Mallory set down her Virginia Wine Country pamphlets and smiled at the woman. The officer’s wife sighed, having found a willing audience. “He just can’t relax. He’ll—” “Jenny!” From the window, Martin wheeled around, his eyes wide. “Tell the bartender to call an ambulance. Now! Tell them there’s an accident with severe injuries and we may need a medevac unit.”

Where does this opener lead? The very terse synopsis offers a hint – ‘A series of unexplainable tragedies surround a family and their young daughter as they seek to determine whether they are possessed, paranoid or collectively going insane. Meanwhile, forgotten clues from the father's past may indicate forces are at work in ways more ominous than any of them could have imagined.

So Dan Alatorre can summon the chills and thrills of a supernatural horror story. Where will he take us next? Grady Harp, August 17
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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