Sunday, July 14, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Fear Has a Name" by Creston Mapes

- Creston Mapes -
(David C. Cook Publishing) 

There's a perfectly good
reason why Atlanta-based
author Creston Mapes is
currently hot as a pistol
he's an amazing writer!

After an extended hiatus, Creston Mapes (finally) returns to the "New Release" racks this summer with the first installment in his all-new "Crittendon Files" trilogy.

Ohio's Trenton City Dispatch ace reporter, Jack Crittendon, has a nose for news. And his super sleuth instincts are put to the test in FEAR HAS A NAME as he relentlessly pursues the psychopath who has turned his life upside down — the "creep" who invaded the Crittendon home and threatens to destroy their family. But not only is Crittendon consumed by his own personal crisis, he's also set on cracking the Missing Person / alleged suicide case of local pastor Evan McDaniel.

I recall a mentor of mine once offering me a tremendous piece of writing advice. "When you’re at a turning point in a story," he said, "think up five to seven options of what could happen, and then choose the most flabbergasting one!" And that is precisely (part of) what makes FEAR so compelling. One minute, the story would have me literally glued to my Starbucks' barstool, (Grande, Bold w/ Iced Lemon Pound Cake, please) and the next minute, I'd be airborne, exclaiming "NO WAY!"

I could easily offer up all of the typical book review clichés — "riveting," "roller coaster," "edge-of-your-seat" or my personal favorite, "engaging pager-turner." But the fact is, I connect with Mapes' work because I connect with his characters. He paints vivid portraits of people (particularly in the case of FEAR) who captivate me. I may not like all of them, but I care about them — even church secretary Barbara Cooley, who "has a mouthful of what smelled like tuna."

Mapes' non-stop suspense bait — whodunnit, will they catch 'em, and how, hooked me from Page One. But what kept me reeled in was the characters' personal stories. They each face  their own  demons — depression, anger, poor hygiene and of course, fear. Greater still are Mapes' two biggest and most powerful hot buttons — faith and forgiveness.

In sum, FEAR HAS A NAME is a sensational read — a book that I literally could not put down — a confession that has nothing to do with the cover of my personal copy now being coated with sticky layers of Lemon Pound Cake icing. And I'm delighted that this is only the first installment in the "Crittendon Files" trilogy, as Mapes has much gas left in the tank and despite a broken sternum, Jack Crittendon has legs to carry on for volumes to come!

-Christopher Long
(July 2013)

Creston Mapes

Rock Star Chronicles Series:
Dark Star - May 2005
Full Tilt - March 2006

Nobody - September 2007

The Crittendon Files Series:
Fear Has a Name - June 2013
Poison Town - February 2014
Sky Zone - June 2014



C'MON! -

No comments:

Post a Comment