Pushback

Pushback

Mysterious Book Report No. 354

by John Dwaine McKenna

Serendipity is the ability to make a fortunate discovery by accident . . . which is just what happened to the MBR last summer, when an author we were interviewing asked if we had read or reviewed the work of a sci-fi writer named John Stith.  “No,” the MBR is crime fiction oriented was the reply.  “Well, you should,” she said, “because he just finished a psychological thriller that’s being released in November.  It’s his first new book in eighteen years . . . and he’s one of your nearby neighbors.” Barbara Nickless gave us the contact info, and voila! We have a new writer friend just a half-dozen stone throws up the road with a compelling new novel to introduce and talk about.

Pushback, (Re-animus Press, $15.99, 339 pages, ISBN 978-0-9672984-6-7) by John Stith is his tenth work of fiction, the first of what we can only hope will be a series of mystery crime thrillers after an award-winning run of off-planet sci-fi yarns.

Pushback begins when a young investment advisor named Dave Barlow leaves work for the day and discovers that someone has put three bullet holes in the drivers door of his brand-new car and drawn a smiley face around them with a magic marker.  Instead of going to the police, Dave covers up the damage with one of his employers magnetic signs. He avoids confrontation of any kind, because he suffers from PTSD due to a terrible tragedy when he was a little boy which left him an orphan.  With that revelation, the author peels back the first layer of an increasingly complex plot, as he makes one disclosure after another until the entire mystery is laid bare.

And just to whet your appetite, here’s the next layer of this complex and mystifying whodunit . . .

The following week, when Dave takes his new girlfriend to his ten-year high school reunion, he doesn’t know anyone in attendance.  Then, someone tries to kill him . . . but who, and why?  The only way to find out, is by reading this meticulously well-plotted and insightful novel of psychological suspense that plumbs the deepest depths of the human heart and soul.

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