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Public Opinion

Public Opinion’s goal is clear. Pettijohn wishes to write an expose on the seedier aspects of the Hollywood elite whilst also writing an entertaining novel. He is one hundred percent successful.

The protagonist, Melvin (or is it Herbert?) is a modern-day chameleon and con man. He claims to be an IT consultant to the Hollywood elite but in reality, he is a grifter and con-man. His specialty is acting as a go-between for blackmail, where he likes to play both sides. He is also a public opinion hit man for hire. Give him a target and he will troll anyone’s good reputation into the dirt. For enough money, he’ll get you sent straight to jail.

Despite his moral reprehensibility, Melvin is a likable protagonist, even if in any other book he would be the villain. He is charming and witty with a worldview that makes a certain amount of twisted sense. He has dirt on everyone and he’s only scamming bad people who deserve it, so what’s the harm? He is also arrogant and selfish. Totally destructive to those he claims to love. Everyone has it coming.

As Melvin’s reputation as a modern-day Mr. Fixit improves he is pulled deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood. Soon he’s no longer just a petty con-man but someone who helps cover up the worst kinds of crime imaginable. Soon Melvin’s already shaky moral compass is completely lost. Maybe he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

The villains in the book are too many to count but are obviously inspired by modern-day monsters like Weinstein and Epstein. The book is an expose on the ways these powerful men stay in power and those who help them.

Public Opinion is an excellent book but it’s not for the faint of heart. It is salacious and graphic. Pettijohn pulls no punches and certain scenes may upset some readers.

I spent the entire book rooting for Melvin to succeed whilst also rooting for him to fail. He is a protagonist who appeals to our baser urges. When the ending comes, it isn’t really a surprise, but it feels well earned. Any other ending to such a story would have felt false. I enjoyed Public Opinion immensely. Pettijohn knows his stuff and makes a good guide and an even better storyteller.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B0B1PFWP9X

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Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop Love and Murder

Tormented by a problematic past, Alby O’Brian hides in Southern New Jersey avoiding terrorists that he encountered in Iraq. But the troubling memories remain and haunt him. Alby attempts to reclaim a low-key life working under the table as a repairman, staying out of sight as much as possible. Consequently, his past catches up to him. He is shaken, realizing that he might still be risking the lives of all those that mean the most to him.

Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop Love & Murder by A.E.S O’Neill shares the thrilling story of a man named Alby who is attempting to seek emancipation from a troubled past in Iraq, and instead, ends up mixed up with the mob. Alby gets blamed when the mob’s bank is robbed, and he must find the missing item before he becomes the next victim of the mob hitman. This is a suspenseful setup to the novel that I really enjoyed.

In all this, he unexpectedly meets Ginger, a dancer that instantly attracts and consumes all of Alby’s thoughts. He becomes more vigilant about the risks he would inadvertently subject her to. As Alby tries to navigate his own safety and those around him, he dwells on the consequences of his choices. I really liked the interesting dynamic between these characters.

A.E.S O’Neill has based this story on a real-life narrative as told by his father on the violence of a mob bank. He draws on real sentiments and reflects them in Alby as a man who is psychologically torn by his past. The juxtaposition of love and crime is an interesting take, which permeates emotion while sustaining an atmosphere of tension and suspense.

Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop Love & Murder composes a perfect balance between love and crime. Readers will be drawn into the world of the mob, the suspense, and thrills of being on the run, and the excitement of trying to survive. The first book in the trilogy will captivate readers and have them waiting on edge for book two.

Pages: 343 | ASIN : B09JVGF9KQ

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