Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book Review: 'Serenity Submerged' by Craig A. Hart

Iowa author Craig A. Hart is both a writer and an editor: he has served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine, as manager for Sweatshoppe Media, and director of Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired. His works have been published in The Orange Room Review, Voices, The Stray Branch, Red Poppy Review, The Mindful Word, Inclement, Right Hand Pointing, 7x20 Magazine, among others. In addition to writing fiction Craig has published self help manuals on writing and critiques of other writers’ works. SERENITY was the initial installment in a series he calls The Shelby Alexander Thriller series. – SERENIITY ENGULFED is a very fine fourth installment in a series that grows in importance.

Craig has a fine grasp on character development, and when he launched a series based on a main character (Shelby Alexander) he realizes it is even more important that we get to know him quickly and watch his development grow so that the series can maintain our interest and secure our addiction Craig supplied that in the first installment and in this book he sets in motion the grisly deed that is the focus of the novel – the crucial fact of missing his own child and how that dynamic alters everything about Shelby’s work and thoughts.

The plot as, as usual, well summarized by Craig: ‘A mysterious woman knocks on Shelby’s door. A secret lies submerged at the bottom of a lake. And someone close to Shelby is going to die. A woman claiming to be an FBI agent appears on Shelby’s doorstep and hands him a picture, asking if he recognizes the man in the photo. Shelby is shocked to see the face of a good friend staring back at him. Little does Shelby know, the woman isn’t the only predator on the prowl. A group of hired killers has rolled into Serenity with one thing on their minds: death. And it’s up to Shelby to make sure the bullets fly in the right direction. Relationships are questioned, secrets are revealed, and no one is quite who they seem. Serenity will never be the same.’

All the ingredients are there, but it is the chef’s hand at mixing them that makes this novel so successful. This is a bite out of Middle America, bursting with flavor and atmosphere. The book is relative short – making for a fine evening’s read. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, April 18

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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