Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Heart of Darkness

The Heart of Darkness Club (Light Literary Mystery)
By Gary Reilly
ISBN #978-0984786023
Running Motor Press
Price $14.95
200 Pages
Rating 5 Stars

“A Philosophical Romp”

After two years in the Army, Brandon Aloysius Murphy, known as Murph to everyone, struggled through seven year of college, and ended up driving a taxi in Denver. Murph has two ambitions, driving a taxi and writing the Great American Novel. Well, maybe three, but Mary Margaret Flaherty rejected his marriage proposal. So he lives alone in the Crow’s Nest apartment, eats hamburgers and Twinkies and drives his cab.

Cab drivers have several rules, and one of them is to never become involved with their passengers.  Murph has a habit of breaking those rules sometimes, though maybe not intentionally. In The Heart of Darkness Club, he picks up Horace Trowbridge, a man who appears down on his luck, but tips with five-dollar bills. Phrases in correct grammar are written on them. As an English Major in college, Murph’s interest is peaked.  Several times he encounters Trowbridge, then the man comes up missing, and Murph may have been the last person to see him – alive. The police suspect foul play, and Murph is their main suspect.

For insight into the author’s writing, Gary Reilly speaks through Murph’s thoughts: “I would rather read William Faulkner than Mickey Spillane.” Yes, there is the mystery of the missing person in this case, but we don’t see the hardboiled mystery thrillers readers may expect. The story is light-hearted. Murph considers everything about his daily activity with a philosophical viewpoint, analyzing every situation he encounters. Readers looking for action thrillers will be disappointed, but anyone wishing a well-crafted story, well written, and entertaining, look no further than The Asphalt Warrior series by Gary Reilly. The Heart of Darkness Club is the third in this series, and its literary appeal will pull you into Murph’s little every day mysteries. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Magazine

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