Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I thought Rage and redemption in alphabet city was a collection of short stories. It turns out it is actually one story broken into chapters. Sadly the story left me mostly unsatisfied with underdeveloped characters and most of the effort put into the details of the surroundings. In the anatomy bar set in New York City Dr. Breaburn meets an interesting girl named Ruby. She has tattoos, piercings and died hair and most men are scared of her appearance. The story was a slow read for me due to the overly descriptive sentences. The doctor goes into way too much detail about his career as an eye doctor. Their pickup lines bounce back and forth as they get to know each other and felt unrealistic. After a few drinks they go to Ruby’s place to get down to business. Ruby is in for a night she won’t forget, the doctor has his own agenda. Life in the city is dangerous and you never know who you can trust.
Next we meet Ruby’s sister and father. They haven’t heard from her in a while and decide to go to her place to see if she is ok. Poor Ruby isn’t ok and her father is stunned because she always followed the rules. That’s funny, Ruby trolls bars in search of random guys, is this following the rules? The cop arrives shortly after Gia calls to report Ruby’s murder. Daddy and Gia talk to the cop while they wait for the coroner to arrive. Thecop tells them about a case to pass the time, this was an awkward conversation, not believable. This is followed by another strange reaction by the father toward the coroner. Gia isn’t a well written character in the least and it was painful. She is fast and loose with her dating actions. Her Daddy punishes her for just thinking about being with a guy too quickly, odd since Ruby acts the same is thought of as a good girl. Gia isn’t the only downfall of the book, the plot has numerous holes and dead ends that really detract from the flow of the story. Gia meets the good doctor and lures him home, how is it possible he doesn’t realize she is Ruby’s sister after she tells him her last name. This is just one example of the difficulty I had in the story. I wanted to be pulled in the world of alphabet city and enjoy the ride but it left me with too many holes and not enough substance.
Length: 180 Pages
Publisher: New Pulp Press
Release date: November 3, 2015
You’ll definitely want to read Amy Grech. Her short stories get your attention like a splash of cold water in your face. She delivers gritty profiles of people caught up in the crime and seething anger of the inner city, New York at its most violent. Here you’ll find five dark tales –“Rage and Redemption In Alphabet City,” .”38 Special,” “Cold Comfort,” “Prevention,” and “Hoi Polloi Cannoli” — actually eleven if you count the literary parts. These will convince you Grech is a writer of noir and horror you want to watch. So far, over one hundred of Any Grech’s stories and poems have been published in various anthologies and magazines including: Apex Magazine, Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled, Dead Harvest, Expiration Date, Fear on Demand, Funeral Party 2, Inhuman Magazine, Needle Magazine, Reel Dark, Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine, Space & Time, The Horror Within, Under the Bed, Detectives of the Fantastic, Volume II, and many others. Blanket of White is a collection of her stories. Amy Grech is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She lives in Brooklyn.