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Books to Watch Out for: December

Notes from the book closet on new and forthcoming titles that caught our eye.

It’s going to be a very good way to end year for books. There, I said it. “Most anticipated” books are rolling in and Goodreads is probably going to break as thousands of readers click “to read” on another set of books. 

Learning about a new author can be difficult when you don’t know where exactly to start or what you want to read. During this pandemic, book conventions were put on hold, and discovering new authors has been a struggle and that means word-of-mouth is a the most powerful tool.  Whatever your reading style is, here’s an author to keep an eye out for in 2021.

David Random is a Boston based author who had written a critically acclaimed and award-winning novel “Connected” and he was even one of a few self-published authors invited by New York Times for a special spot.

Book Reviews:

Connected is both aesthetically pleasing and well designed. Chapter breaks are chosen well, parlaying the drama of the text. Random avoids the tired approach of ending each chapter on a cliffhanger, instead opting to gradually build off of each section break to a place where a suspenseful moment is especially effective. Connected is a wholly absorbing and spellbinding mystery from the start –Clarion Review of Books

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Those interested in detective narratives will eat this story up with no problem. In fact, I had my own inklings about the ending but I kept reading because the story was so thrilling I just had to find out if I was right. This is the mark of a truly great crime novel. I was able to push through the beginning to get to the juicy parts. I would love to see a little more variation in Cassie’s character as she was one of my favorites. In the end, this is an excellent in-depth crime novel featuring sympathetic characters and a lot of open-ended questions. For a genre that desperately needs refreshing stories, Random succeeded in delivering a work of fiction that aims to push the genre of crime-writing into the future. The plot expressed in this book is impeccable and every potential pitfall is expertly avoided. If Random decides to write more crime stories in the future he should do so with great certainty of his skills. -Megan Russell Hollywood Book Reviews

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This is a yarn longer on intellectual energy than edrenal stimulation, but it is no less compelling for it. Car chases and shootouts are non-existent, but suspense is still palpable due to Random’s ability to ask big questions and supply surprising answers. He’s a first-rate writer and storyteller. If you’re into uncommon tales told well, by all means get Connected. -Jake Bishop,Pacific Book Review Star

Random’s tale is written crisply and well. Nothing seems overdone. He lets the story tell itself without imposing a signature prose style. His characters feel real and their behavior honest. Dialogue is sharp and credible. Within the well-worn genre of crime fiction, he has managed to create a story that feels fresh and new. And like the best of mystery writers, he definitely has surprises in store. Don’t miss this one. –Joe Kilgore, US Review of Books                      

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The story moves quickly, and Random is able to craft a plot that sounds far-fetched on the surface but becomes poignantly believable. Descriptions are rich: “A black sky salted with stars” and “The brothers were looking in two different directions at once—like a lizard whose eyes work independently of each other.” Smart dialogue fills quick-paced scenes, and accounts of Boston’s North End are vivid (cannoli, anyone?). Strong women and players of various ethnicities fill the pages. lead character Antonelli is a bit of a sexagenarian dandy, with his hand-tailored suits and gold-embossed cuff links. A winning twin spin that combines an ethical conundrum with a police procedural. –KIRKUS REVIEW

Just like Stieg Larsson’s the author of the series of epic Crime & Mystery novels The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning movie, David Random is also a risk taker, rather than trying to be normal, he uses that energy to discover his unique potential. He created a novel that is a brilliant page turner for readers who loves a fast-paced storyline and drama.

I recommend this book to all kinds of readers. For me, it is a novel that uses suspense in the best possible way, not by having a character that confronts one contrived obstacle after another in a mindless stream of action, but by creating an atmosphere of deep moral peril in which the culminating tragedy seems as inevitable as it is, well…tragic. It is also one of those books in which the title becomes completely apt, and very moving, after one has completed the book. In this case, the “crime in the neighborhood” turns out to be far more profound and long lasting than any single act of violence could be.

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