I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Monday, September 10, 2007

SOLEMNLY SWEAR by Joe Porrazzo

2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Average
ISBN: 9780595442157, $16.95, 244 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"After a career of excitement and danger, former U.S. Air Force special agent Alex Porter retires and looks forward to leading a simple, civilian life. He celebrates the successes of his daughter, a college honor student and pilot candidate in the ROTC program, and is just starting to dip his toe into the dating pool again. But when he comes upon an accident-turned-crime scene involving New England Mafia don Vince Vionelli, Porter lands in serious hot water."

What can I say good about this novel? . . . one, it’s well-written and well-edited; two, it has a solid hooker for an opener. . . "The mysterious voice, clearly disguised in a deep monotone pitch, continued: ‘I suggest you listen very closely. Do not get up because you are sitting on a bomb.’ The sound of the word "bomb," so dramatically emphasized, had me frozen–except for the pit of my stomach, which suddenly wanted to expel something."; and 3) it has an unusual ending.

However, to me, much of the story reads like a personal memoir–reflections with considerable detail, and there are aspects I felt unbelievable, such as 1) the key witness to a crime committed by a Mafia boss going about his daily business with no protection, 2) Alex’s responses to events–more typical of an average guy than a U.S. Air Force colonel/special agent, and 3) Alex loves his only daughter, Kate, yet is totally unaware of the reality of their relationship. Is Alex a space cadet, or what? Once a writer loses his credibility, he has lost his reader.