Book of Nathan: A Novel by Curt Weeden and Richard Marek (Oceanview Publishing; $25.95; 264 pages)
“Dan Brown meets Janet Evanovich…” Roxanne Black
Co-authors Curt Weeden and Richard Marek have teamed up to create a fascinating novel that is part mystery and part life lesson. Their main character is Rick Bullock, formerly a successful Madison Avenue advertising man who turned agnostic soul saver when his beloved wife, Anne, died from a brain tumor. Rick has refocused his life and manages a shelter for men in the inner city. He knows his clients and when one of them named Zeus is accused of a high-profile murder, Rick makes it his task to prove the accusers wrong.
The first person narrative is an excellent vehicle for combining the disparate elements of the tale. Rick’s thoughts and actions are consistent with a man of high moral principles. Fortunately, the authors have resisted portraying him as a saintly type. He is capable of trickery and a little arm twisting to obtain the resources needed to travel to Florida where Zeus is incarcerated. Lacking funds for the journey, Rick calls in a favor from a buddy in his advertising past, Doug Kool, who is a fundraiser par excellence for a big nonprofit.
The team Rick takes to Florida is a rag-tag group. Some of them are helpful for the mission (Doc Waters and Maurice) and one is a genuine bundle of precocious trouble (Twyla Tharp – no, not that one). This reviewer was reminded of The Wizard of Oz and the pilgrimage that Dorothy made with her band of seekers. Amazingly, the story line manages to stay reasonably tight and manageable regardless of the wide variety of characters. Oh, did I mention that an extremely wealthy man also plays a part? Indeed, the reader will discover more than the identity of the killer by the story’s end.
The values and moral judgements presented are all too real and not off the scale of everyday issues we all face. Kudos to Weeden and Marek for delivering their message in such an entertaining way. Highly recommended.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A review copy was provided by the publisher.