Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: 'After the Evil' by Cary Allen Stone

Arizona author Cary Allen Stone also happens to be an airline pilot (he began flying in 1972 at age 19!), having been hired by his first professional airline in 1982, and that figures significantly in his Book 5 AFTER YOU’RE DEAD of the Jake Roberts series of novels. Stone achieved a Bachelor of Arts in 1976 and has worked in television (he had a non-speaking character role in an AAA Club advertisement), film and voice-over radio commercials and since 1990 has been writing thrillers and true crime novels. His books include a True Crime study of filicide (the killing of a child be the parent) THROUGH A MOTHER'S EYES, a cybercrime thriller STEALING ATLANTA, and his Jake Roberts crime thriller series - AFTER THE EVIL, MIND OVER MURDER, AFTER THE GOODE and AFTER THE KILL. Two major influences on his writing occurred in 1992 - using the impact of Aviation on his writing, he flew for British film director Sir Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, American Gangster, etc). It gave him an opportunity to discuss his writing with Sir Scott who remains a major influence for him. He is a member of the Phoenix Writer's Club, the Arizona Authors Association and The Desert Sleuths. Toss that multifaceted salad together and the reader will understand why Carry Allen Stone's novels are so accurate and credible as well as engrossing reads.

Having started the Jake Roberts Novels with the Book 5, it is with great interest to return to Book 1 – AFTER THE EVIL – to see how well Vary develops his main lead male. So much of the success of a book relies on character development and the interaction between characters, especially in a series of novels. Cary sets the tone from the opening paragraphs: ‘After she placed the duct tape over his mouth, it became very difficult to make out some of his words. “No” was muffled, but reasonably understandable. “Don’t” didn’t sound quite right, but she got the idea. She mimicked his muted pleas pretending to feel his fear and pain. It was the end of Father Anthony Moralli. He began his last day on earth on an airliner. His destination was a resort-gambling oasis, which coincidently included a well-stocked pond of young females. He was on what he liked to call a “personal pilgrimage.” The expedition had nothing to do with religion. Anthony simply wanted to, no needed to, get laid. To accomplish the task, it required leaving the confines of his parish to maintain the fa├žade of his vocation. Father Anthony loved the whole religion thing—the ceremonies, hearing confessions, and especially saving lost souls. He planned to start saving his soul right after saving all of the others. After years of religious studies and training, he concluded it was beyond his comprehension to truly understand God, so he simply preached the commandments, and left the rest to God. What Anthony really understood were the basic physical needs of a man. He struggled with his vow of celibacy, finding it to be in direct conflict with his deep and firm conviction, that sex was a gift from God. To abstain, he believed, was a slap to the Creator’s face. The “Love thy neighbor” commandment was his favorite, and he took every opportunity to apply it to his life. Of course, that did not include molesting boys like some of his classmates in the seminary. He boarded the flight sans white collar, and slumped into his assigned seat by the window, in the emergency exit aisle.’

For those of us who have been following Jake through Cary’s masterful mind and hands at molding action thrillers it is difficult to outguess what will happen to Jake this episode. The synopsis merely gives a hint: ` Dr. Thaddeus Abrams is found murdered. The kill is the work of a prolific serial killer and FBI profiler Mika Scott arrives to lead the investigation at the Atlanta PD where she was once Detective Jake Roberts' ex-partner and lover. Jake's in a steamy love affair with flight attendant Lori Powers. Tensions run high when Jake discovers who the killer is. Will they get there in time to stop another murder?

Tantalizing? You bet, but until you've become addicted to Cary's writing the surprises will arise on every page. For addicts to his books...well, just wait, it is coming. Another winner for Cary Allen Stone. Grady Harp, December 17

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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