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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: A Bullet For Two by author Robert Strzalko


Robert Strzalko’s first novel ‘A Bullet For Two’ was sent to me as a complimentary review copy through BookPleasures.com

Details about the book:
Title: A Bullet For Two
Author: Robert Strzalko
ISBN: 978-1439276372
Publisher: self-published (no publisher mentioned on the book)
No. Of Pages: 137

Review:
‘A Bullet For Two’ is an unusual book that mixes the trauma and guilt suffered by a war hero as he tries to justify the actions he witnessed on the battlefield, while making an effort to get back to a normal life post-war. The book begins with a chilling start as Jeb, a Civil War Hero, looks to make a fresh start in the West, but instead of the perfect beginning, he happens to encounter ‘something terrible taking place.’ That ‘something terrible’ he soon finds out is the screaming of a young half-bred girl as she is being raped by three burly middle-aged and old men. As he approaches the scene and confronts the men, he is met with threats, but a shot at his gun and the threats soon turn to pleading. The three men happen to be the town’s mayor, sheriff and a local business tycoon. As he rescues the 14-year-old scared girl, his plans of returning back to a normal life are dashed, asa he soon finds himself a ‘wanted’ man, on the list of all bounty hunters. The return back home from the war front turns into a run for life from those possessed with revenge. Jeb and Sara are soon turned into outlawas, and thus begins their journey that sees them hiding and running from the law, from the bounty hunters, as well as from those who have a personal feeling of revenge against them.

The best part about the book is its construction and length. Being a mere 137 pages long, this thriller is easy to finish off in a single sitting, thus letting you keep the suspense and build-up all tuned in and in flow. The characters have been given good thought and detailing. Jeb is confused and scarred after the incidents he witnessed and took part in at the war front. He struggles with the loss of loved ones and the trauma of witnessing mindless death, and ends up viewing society as an unjust place where people use the excuse of ‘justice’ to kill each other. Sara is a 14-year-old half-bred girl, who, having lost both her parents at a very young age, has been treated as a sex slave for most of her young life. As the two are bound in close proximity and have only each other for companionship, her love for Jeb grows into much more than that of a rescuer, while Jeb is very clear about how he sees her. His only interest is to protect her and get her safely back to her family.

While reading the book, the reader can get a ‘real’ view of the trials and tribulations faced by those who suffered the injustice of war, by being a part of it and being scarred for life. Many young men were sent to the front without consent, and returned disillusioned and confused. The war came to an end but their lives changed forever. And this is exactly what the author captures in A Bullet For Two.

The book is fast-paced, easy-to-read and a pleasure for those who like to read but don’t want to spend too much time reading. Its heavy-weight in its subject, but light and flowing in its execution.

Only drawback in the book is that it needs another look at editing, but that’s the work of the publishing house, and I hope they re-check the copies that will be coming out now.

All in all a good read.

Order your copy through Amazon here:


* Debolina Raja Gupta is a reviewer for BookPleasures.com

- Debolina Raja Gupta