Original and intriguing…
Williams’s latest is a tale about an old man who tries to rise to some unusual challenges in a steady fashion. During his younger years, Eddie Jablonski used to be an award-winning crime fiction writer. But now in old age, he finds himself living in room 315 of the Garden of Eden nursing home, with Jenkins, a trusty nursing aide, at his side, thanks to his daughter who only cares for his money. Determined to keep going until the end, Eddies continues writing. But there are people who want to dictate his life, unaware Eddie is one determined old man. The narrative thrives on the frenetic ramblings of an old person and ill-matched incidents. Through Eddie’s first-person narration, Williams traces the disorderly life of his protagonist and reveals the chaotic stories behind the apparent eccentricity of his life. Eddie is everywhere in the narrative which is full of the ghosts from his past, horrendous stories of his tortured childhood, including the severe physical abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father, his intriguing encounters with a myriad of characters, his daily writing containing the first-person accounts of both murder victims and the killer, a prolific mob hitman, Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski, supposedly Eddie’s first cousin, the past dealings with mobsters and crime bosses, and his everyday conversations with J among others. As Eddie begins to take control of his own life and pursues his writing, he blends the real with the fiction, taking readers on an exhilarating ride into his past. Disillusionment, violence, brutal assassinations, dangerous criminals, unsolved crimes, and romance are the pieces that form the puzzle of Eddie’s story. There is drama and emotion. There are also the small defeats, humiliations, longings, hopes, and fears. So, while Eddie pulls and pushes his way through the dreary routine at the Garden of Eden retirement community, mystery and intrigue move the story toward a satisfyingly revelatory climax. Readers will find Eddie’s guts in taking control of his life despite the limitations of his age thoroughly commendable. The reader will be left wondering about what is real and what is fiction. Themes of self-love, preservation, resilience, determination, and the aging process are woven nicely into the narrative. Both sad and uplifting, the novel makes for a thought-provoking exploration of aging.
Crosshairs of the Devil
By Yancey Williams
Price $10.00 Paper/$7.00 Kindle