Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: 'Pablo's Apprentice: Where Romance Meets Revenge' by Richard Devall

Pablo's Apprentice by Richard Devall
Geniuses are always branded as crazy – Pablo Escobar

Virginia author Richard DeVall is a retired contractor who has turned to writing. OLD LETTERS AND NEW DEMONS was his debut publication, and he follows that with PABLO’S APPRENTICE: WHER INSANE MEETS INTELLECT.

Richard’s voice is new in more ways than simply being fresh to the literary world. His writing is complex, able to explore the degrees of sanity and its periphery while creating characters as vivid as life. His writing is mesmerizing and thought provoking and at all times entertaining. His book is not unlike a massive puzzle – one with missing pieces until the events scurry around to make them present. He writes fine mysteries and rolls them through his kaleidoscope of imagination and the end product is dazzling.

For those who need a more solid grasp of DeVall’s talent, he offers a very condensed teaser for us – ‘2016 Santa Clara, California David Turner strolled around the McDonald Douglas law enforcement helicopter thinking about Brandy Bednarz, his fiancĂ©, a blonde beauty he couldn’t believe was going to be his wife. Her name harkens back to a Polish ancestry and it’s true some of her facial features go back to the Balto-Slavic area. But, there are others forces at play. Her eyes are deep and dark, mysterious reflecting pools, not the grey, green, blue or brown colors associated with Poland. David felt she had a touch of gypsy juice stirred into her chromosomal soup. Her nose isn’t the classic snub that characterizes Central Europe. Her nose is something in between Roman and aquiline. Time has left her checks high and smooth. And she’s a girl that likes to eat. She doesn’t pick at her food and stir it around while speaking in a quiet dainty tone. She attacks her plate like an escaped convict and eats it like she means it. She eats fast, like him and doesn’t get lost in small talk. When she does speak it’s often followed with a quick smile, and she doesn’t mind laughing at herself. These attributes quickly wore him down. Her entire package, her small stature and her toned arms, snuggled into his heart and soon he couldn’t see himself without her. Everything about her grabbed him from their first date forward. Her no-nonsense eating habit was simply one more hook. And, as usual, she was totally oblivious to how attractive she was. He could write a sonnet about the way her hair swayed when she walked. He could sing a ballad on the way she gnawed her fingernails and became distracted when her mother called. But he was a cop and a pilot and he didn’t get mushy with poems and songs. He told her how he felt with his eyes and sometimes he even used words. There were times when he stopped doing whatever it was he was doing and stared at her as she explained something about her day. He was in awe of her, caught in a trance and nailed in place with her sheer beauty.’

The strange and exotic lot is summarized by the author –‘A female victim is hunted by a female pursuer to the point of being mentally shattered. Out of the ashes of a complete collapse and with the encouragement and help of her psychiatrist, herself a victim, Brandy turns the table and now who’s hunting whom?’

For a journey into the interstices of a creative mind whose generosity of talent includes significant doses of wit and sarcasm, slowly read this psychological thriller. It is a true discovery! Highly Recommended. 

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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