Title: Zephyr by Andrew Cooke
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Page Publishing Inc
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Zephyr – Cover conveys protagonist
What makes you continue to read a book when everything is screaming at you, “just DNF” it? Not like this is the first book I’ve attempted to read that took me some time to either make the decision to give up or continue to read. Usually, I am rewarded with a book (and an author) that may very well be a diamond in the rough. This could that diamond, and I did end by enjoying it, but rough is one way to describe it.
And Warning: This narrative includes crude street language and graphic scenes.
I’ve probably read cozies that were faster to get the story off the ground. Over the top prose, descriptive verbiage up the wazoo, has you crossing your eyes and emitting a groan or two. Then you get to a particularly beautiful passage or dialogue and relent–keep reading–and that’s what happened here.
The author paints a picture of an old world mature couple surprised with a baby girl they name Zephyr. They have an older son, Pedro, who is not happy with the interloper and the “family business” is not one that can easily be inherited by a kid neither born with the heart nor afforded the grooming to inherit. We are introduced to the grandmother and some time is spent cementing her matriarchal position.
The initial main characters, Luis and Rosa, are strong and well-developed. They exude either the machismo or the grace the author is striving to convey. They project a love for each other and an almost fairytale account of their lives around their newborn. Fantasies born of her aura. She is born with unnerving eyes, those irises, devoid of color, silver, almost white. Worse, at even the youngest age she appears to be able to discern the emotions of her parents as well as her older brother. She reads between the lines, understands nuances to the point of scary, and progresses well in her formative years. Don Luis would like to retire. He just wants to live a quiet, peaceful life with his “new” family, one in which he takes particular delight, but thanks to Pedro, that will not happen.
We are introduced to Rebecca. WHOA! Now the story has made a 90-degree turn; not a twist, not a red herring. Rebecca will figure prominently in the storyline very well and slaps you back to attention.
Now it’s seventeen years later and Zephyr has come into her own, She has been well groomed. Stunningly beautiful, commands attention (I mean, just look at those eyes). She’s strong, intelligent, on a mission, and she is unstoppable.
The plot is very well laid out. I really loved Rebecca. And after the author introduces Rebecca to Zephyr? Oh yeah, I was writing his story for him to the conclusion. I had it all in my head. I just knew where this was going and I couldn’t wait to get there! And for the most part, it doesn’t disappoint. The conclusion takes a little patience, but includes a twist you won’t see coming (hey, it’s fiction), and will definitely create an interesting component in any further entries.
Now if only it had the benefit of the sharp eye of an editor; maybe three. There are so many edit misses, missing words, extra words, misspellings, grammar problems, repeated scenes two paragraphs later (slightly reworded). Melodic prose gradually giving way. This novel would have greatly profited from a ruthless cut and slash, maybe a quarter of the book.
I received this ebook download by the publisher and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. This was a new one for me, and I’m quite confident could be a departure for you as well. I’m interested in where the next installment may take Zephyr and Rebecca–these two will make a unique team. Recommended for those interested in contemporary crime.
Zephyr Estrada was never a normal little girl. First, she was born with a terrifying pair of silver eyes. Then, it was discovered that she was the daughter of the leader of a feared criminal organization. Not only that, she had a power-hungry older brother who murdered his own father and usurped the throne, forcing young Zephyr and her mother to flee the country and preserve their lives.
Not a normal childhood indeed.
Years later, Zephyr casts aside her innocence and emerges from exile a cold, soulless woman. Believing herself to be the true heir to her father’s empire, she uses her uncanny powers of strategy to exact hellish vengeance on those responsible for his untimely demise. But how can she accomplish all of this when she made a solemn promise not to kill her older sibling?
Sometimes, punishment is worse than death.
About the Author:
I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and impressed by the influence it has on people of all creeds. To say that I am a curious author is an understatement; I am obsessed with the creation of a new world conjured by imagination and ink.
I was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut with a penchant for classical literature. Books such as The Count of Monte Cristo and A Tale of Two Cities accompanied me on many a lazy Saturday afternoon. These classics lived up to their titles for a reason – they were impervious to time.
My interest in preserving the foundations set by classical literature is everlasting. Adapting them to modern themes and trends is my personal mission, as such beauty of literary expression cannot remain in the past. I endeavor to always maintain the spirit of this immortal style of writing.
Allow me to share my stories with you…
©2018 V Williams