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Review: Death Rules The Night
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
Montreal, QC
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Review: Death Rules The Night
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Authors: Rosemary and Larry Mild

Publisher: Magic Island Literary Works

ISBN: 978-0-9905472-6-6

Husband and wife team, Rosemary, and Larry Mild, offer their readers quite a chilling multilayered yarn with their most recent novel, Death Rules the Night.

The story gets underway with a hit-and-run accident in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, involving two truck drivers, Tom Dwyer and his co-worker Frank Mulhaney. Early one morning, following a split-second distraction, Frank runs over a woman who, sadly, was at the wrong place and wrong time. Frank convinces Tom that as no one noticed what happened, they should at once leave the accident scene without reporting it to the police. Tom reluctantly concedes. For several weeks, Tom and Frank search newspapers and other media to learn if anyone had written about the accident. To their bewilderment, nothing turns up.

The novel shifts to Budreau Atkins, who sometimes goes by the nickname Muddy- a name that his father gave him because he is always messing up with shady deals and other transgressions.

Muddy also has a vicious temper and an evil face to his personality. One sister even suggested he was a psychopath, and except for one of his siblings, the other two wanted nothing to do with him. When we meet Muddy, he is in a tumultuous showdown with his wife, Anne. After being physically and verbally abused, Anne dashes out of the couple's home, vouching never to come back.

The next scene illustrates the repercussions of a one-night indiscretion between an undergraduate junior, Mark Schwartz, a physics major at Johns Hopkins University, and Daisy Lynn Bacon, a student nurse. They meet at a bar where Daisy reminds Mark that they met at Daisy's hospital. She had attended to him when he had pneumonia. The one-night stand leads to Daisy's pregnancy, and when she tells Mark that he is the father, he wants nothing to do with her.

The narrative now turns to Rivka and Dan Sherman, proprietors of The Olde Victoria Bookstore in Annapolis. The couple is well known for their bookstore and for the weekly writer's critique group. A few promising writers meet once a week to read their work-in-progress and have their manuscripts critiqued by other group members. 

One morning, Dan notices that The Atkins Family History, 1768 to 1934, is missing from the store. Little does Dan realize that his pursuit for the missing tome would open quite a hornet's nest.

To begin, when Dan requests a copy of the book from his local library, the librarian informs him that there are two different copies of the text concerning the Akins' family history.

The earlier work was written by Arthur Clement Atkins, which is the one that matches the title Dan was asking for and which was missing from his store. Someone has borrowed the earlier book. Upon further inquiry with other libraries, Dan discovers three additional copies of the book out of circulation. Dan now believes there is more than meets the eye. Why would someone wish to forestall anyone else from seeing or using crucial material that may be incorporated in the memoir? 

By now, you are perhaps asking yourselves, as I was, how will the authors weave all these themes together? Is there a link involving the hit-and-run accident, Muddy, the missing family memoir, the one-night stand, the critique group and the Atkins family? There are also other coincidences tied in with the memoir, including the Atkins' home, that has been in the family for over two hundred years and was recently sold to one of the critique group members. 

The true magic at play here is how the authors cleverly cast a spell that makes us hungry to bring to light the truth concerning a dark and grisly mystery. The authors pull out all the stops, repeatedly blindsiding us with shifts in the tautly written plot, as we become ensnared in this weird tale. The suspense is worth its weight in caffeine for keeping you up well into the night.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview with Rosemary and Larry Mild


 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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