How does any normal person deal with life after they’ve been a victim of a crime? How does an innocent and powerless child attempt to make sense of a beating or deprivation or a violation of their body? How long does a responsible citizen sit and watch television reports of how a criminal is made to look like an innocent bystander while the true victim’s life is torn to shreds by crafty lawyers and a zealous media, hungry for a story? How long do we put up with injustice until we reach the point where we can take it no more? Combine that fury and anger with the heavy drape of evil that darkens the soul of a serial killer and you have The Steel Van Man.
The story moves quickly and teases us with a new revelation as each chapter ends. It’s a smart novel, leaving no flaws that we have to overlook in order to help us read on. It’s thorough and detailed yet never gets bogged down. The characters are well developed and stay true to who they are. We aren’t deceived by a surprise twist that an author may think was clever but in effect, devalues the plot. It’s smart, logical and real. We walk along with Detective Stan Devonshire as each new lead is checked and the truth is sought.
We move from the surreal introduction of a severed head at a crime scene to the gut wrenching conclusion where the we wonder if one can ever right any of the wrongs of a decaying society. The author forces us to do our own soul searching and decide does the punishment fit the crime. Is there a justified revenge? What do we do when the laws that are designed to protect, instead allow the criminal to strike at their prey once more?
Jason D. Stadtlander has written a gripping thriller of a murder-mystery. His editor, Linda Patterson Sickenger who wrote the ‘Editor’s Afterword’, ensures that the reader doesn’t stumble over sentence fragments or lose their way in wordy thoughts. Dialog, character thoughts and action are all vivid and magnetic, keeping the reader immersed in the story and not dropping out because of poorly presented structure or elementary mistakes in grammar.
High 5’s to a fresh new author who takes us for a ride. Kuddo’s to a dedicated editor who keeps the Steel Van Man running at peak performance.