Happy publication day and congratulations to Spencer Fleury on his new novel How I’m Spending My Afterlife! I am excited to be the blog tour stop on your release day and happy to present my review of your edgy and gripping book, but first this simple preliminary.
Book Blurb: Alton Carver has a problem. A cocky lawyer in his mid-30s, he’s under federal investigation for embezzling and securities fraud. Instead of spending the next three to five years behind bars, he’s got a plan: stage his own death, take the money he stole and light out for Central America, leaving behind wife Nicole and daughter Clara. But when he sticks around town long enough to watch his own funeral, he makes the unpleasant discovery that the life he’s leaving behind isn’t the life he thought he had. When he overhears the way his former colleagues talk about him now that he’s “gone,” Alton is forced to reconsider his self-image as a respected and admired pillar of the legal community. Then the shock of seeing Nicole in the arms of another man leads Alton to postpone his plan to run for the border. What comes next is a slow-burn train wreck, a tale of self-deception, revenge, and bad decisions.
This is the story of a man who is sure he’s laid out a plan for his escape from all that has weighed down his life. A chance to start over, escape the burden of his professional career, his wife and family life, with the money he has carefully embezzled and now the reason he is under federal investigation.
Alternately told in first person by Alton, the protagonist, and his wife, Nicole, the reader first sits in the head of the attorney gleefully anticipating the death he has been meticulously planning. It’s so simple. Take the boat out–it’s just an accident! He’s a brilliant attorney–everything has been covered–arranged, prepared. What could go wrong?
To begin with–how about an unexpected turn in weather? Or having abandoned his beloved Porsche at the marina, transportation from the beach where he lands? He hadn’t counted on the wetsuit, expensive as it was, to leave him that cold. Icy cold. And the kayak? Don’t get him started on the Kayak! But, somehow, through it all, he makes it ashore to begin his trip across the border–to safety and anonymity.
He makes it to a nearby seedy hotel to rest when he’s sidetracked by a brief—very brief–TV news announcement of finding a boat (his boat) on fire with no one aboard. He’s dumbfounded by the sheer brevity of the announcement. But that’s only the beginning.
Nicole is already figuring out how this whole thing might work to her advantage. She’s stunned. Of course, she’s stunned. But, she’s already skipping ahead; how she’ll proceed. The whole time I read this novel, I’m thinking, “wait, what?” You have to be kidding me! This story with the darkly comedic sense of humor has the power to keep you glued to the pages and occasionally laughing out loud. You can’t believe he’s doing what he’s doing. Why doesn’t he just leave? Because things have become morbid. He’s so fascinated with the way this is playing out with his friends (friends??!), associates, and even his wife, he MUST stick around just one more day to see what happens at his funeral. He’s become a rather sick voyeur–too close to the subject to keep any objectivity.
This book had me shaking my head, turning pages to get Nicole’s side of it, then Alton’s. The self-talk is amazing and so believable. Second guessing rules. One by one, all his carefully laid out plans is plucked. Perhaps he shouldn’t leave so much of the money to Nicole. Perhaps he doesn’t have to cross the border today–maybe tomorrow would work just as well.
His daughter leads him into proceeding where he never should have gone. He argues with himself. Meanwhile, a reader is completely mystified. Where in the world did this man come from? Okay, Mars. Perhaps he was a clueless “daddy” when convenient so this is just a really bad idea.
I loved the self-talk and the down-to-earth dialogue. Youthful, topical, idealistic, and totally unrealistic. Alton is educated, not necessarily street smart. His kind of research is You-Tube videos and maybe it doesn’t cover his particular situation. Nicole is “a good wife,” but not totally involved. His daughter is well fleshed and reacts as expected a child of her age.
At this point, Alton has made so many mistakes, it’s impossible to see how he will extricate himself–again. And Fleury crafts his climax the only way it could logically go, though it has turned into a nail-biter. How, is for you to read and find out.
Spencer Fleury nails his debut fiction novel. Entertaining and humorous while trying hard to be serious, a total kick of a read and highly recommended as a suspense thriller with a light side. No blood and guts, just good clean stupid fun.
About the Author: Spencer Fleury is publishing his first novel today and the book can be found on Amazon here. He has previously worked as a sailor, copywriter, economics professor and record store clerk. Born in the Detroit suburbs and lived most of his life in Florida, he now lives in San Francisco.
I downloaded this novel for the blog tour request by Sage Adderly of Sage’s Blog Tours and wish to thank both the author Spencer Fleury and the publisher. It has been my pleasure to read and review your work and I can recommend to anyone who has wondered whether or not Karma will get you. She will. Catch Spencer Fleury on his Facebook account here, his Twitter account here, and his website here.
Check out the other blogs on the tour to see what they have to say.
September 26th Mello & June Book Blog ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT September 26th Bound 2 Escape ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT September 27th Mythical Books ~ INTERVIEW September 29th InkSpired ~ REVIEW & INTERVIEW September 29th Review Tales ~ INTERVIEW October 1st Booked ~ REVIEW October 2nd Lisa - Queen of the Random ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT October 3rd Rosepoint Publishing ~ REVIEW October 8th Mello & June Book Blog ~ REVIEW October 9th Reecaspieces ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
©2017 Virginia Williams