A few months ago, I interviewed my good friend and fellow author William Kendall on this blog. Now, I’m honored to be the first to review his wonderful first novel Heaven & Hell. The following review was originally posted at Goodreads….
I have to confess here...I've read it prior to publication. I've been impressed by William's writing from the start. His narrative and dialogue are strong, his pacing impressive, and his characterization as good as any author currently occupying the New York Times bestseller list. William is a very visual writer--when he describes a setting, a character, or an emotion, the reader will be able to imagine it all quite clearly.
Heaven & Hell is a thriller, to be sure...but it's also a tale of damaged people, people who come together out of deep emotional suffering, of profound personal loss. His villains aren't one-dimensional baddies, but individuals who have made some serious wrong turns out of pain. I'm so tempted to go into detail about some of these things, but I know he'd have to kill me if I did. And even though I know what the Very Bad Thing is that he alludes to in some of his blogs, I've been sworn to secrecy. Nuts!
Be forewarned--there are scenes involving acts of terrorism that are difficult to read; that's how realistic they are! I've been brought to tears more than once. William says he found himself often apologizing to some of his characters--and with good reason.
His protagonist, Tom Stryker, is no James Bond. But that's a good thing. Bond, to me, has always been just a bit too perfect. Stryker--he does not like to be called Tom--is human. He's flawed. And unlike Bond, he does not jump into the sack with every female he encounters. Personally, I would like to see him get a little action. He's quite a man. Seems to me women should be lined up to provide him with a bit of TLC!
I cannot recommend this novel or its author strongly enough. As soon as Heaven & Hell is available, buy it. You won't be disappointed!
(And for those of you who don't already know and love our William, you can get to know him and his writing at his always-entertaining blog, Speak of the Devil!)