Clichés exist for a reason. That is because they have been found over time to be very applicable to a number of situations to the point where they are overused. Despite the use of clichés being the cardinal sin of writers, I am going to start this review with one. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I don’t think I have ever encountered a story that had as much to offer, yet presented itself with a cover that would likely make me pass it up in a bookstore or online, as Louis Weinberger’s Into the Devil’s Reach.
Looking at the current cover of this book, you would expect to see Harlequin’s logo somewhere prominent on the front. A very attractive woman, wearing revealing leather with one leg over the shoulder of an extremely physically fit man does seem like something they would present. From this, one might expect that the story within fit the similar formula of many other romance novels, even those that try to spice up the romance with other story elements. This image does no justice to the story Weinberger tells us in this incredible novel.
“Sexy and alluring, Chicago Detective Jennifer Mueller is the perfect bait to catch a satanic heavy metal singer/serial killer. When the “sting” goes wrong, lives are lost. Seeking revenge, the killer’s satanic family lures Detective Mueller to a small town where she falls into the devil’s reach.”
If, based on this scant description and the previously mentioned issues with the cover, you passed this book up and went to look for other thrilling tales of suspense, you would be doing yourself a grave injustice. Weinberger sets up an erotic thriller that matches the talent of any from the genre that have put pen to paper before him. Make no mistake, this is an erotic thriller. However, Weinberger sets upon the perfect blend of elements. The elements of sex in the novel, while definitely present and intense, do not overshadow the rest of the story. Weinberger skillfully presents intense scene of horror and action that really dominate the tale.
Weinberger’s descriptions of the action and the killing will have you visualizing something right out of a Hollywood blockbuster. The vivid word pictures extend to all parts of the book.
The characters are presented both with shining attributes as well as human flaws. Detective Jennifer Meuller reminded me of John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport from the Prey series. She is tough, but human. She doesn’t always make the correct decisions, but has a code that she will stick to above anything else. She is a gritty, take-no-shit woman who deserves to have her story continued in future stories. At the same time, her presence does not overpower the rest of the characters, each playing their own part to perfection, no matter how big or small.
Perhaps the greatest compliment that I can pay to Louis Weinberger after reading Into the Devil’s Reach is that to call him a writer is not sufficient. Weinberger is a story teller in the grandest tradition of the title. He draws us in quickly and never lets us go. I hope to find that this is only the first of many stories that Weinberger will take the time to tell us.
So, let’s take a look at the Rage Circus breakdown:
Story Concept - 4/5
Story Execution - 5/5
Story Flow – 4.5/5
Character Development (give-a-damn factor) - 5/5
Gripping visuals/details - 5/5
Entertainment Value/Story Engagement - 5/5
Editing (including grammar and spelling) – 4.5/5
Overall – 4.7/5 – READ THIS BOOK NOW!!!!
You can pick up your copy at http://www.louisweinberger.com