A wave of crime grasped center stage at the beginning of the volcanic summer. The often abused by police, misused by society, shunned, and stereotyped patrons of the “hood” decided that their reparations would no longer be paid by the normal “Smash and grab”. Gun laws had changed. Stiffer penalties and mandatory time was a constant reminder whenever, The Felony Lane Gang clocked in. Blue collar crime was now at an all time low. White collar crime was their new way of life. Three siblings stormed into a world of destruction when the youngest known as Crackaboi decided to part ways with his modest upbringing. For the love of her baby brother Glory unknowingly stepped into a web of drugs and exotic entertainment. Tjohnnie, the oldest and the coldest felt a need to protect his siblings. After losing their parents to unfortunate circumstances, TJohnnie secretly led two lives. A college football player by day. A counterfeiter and money launderer for the Infamous Seminole Indian Tribe by night. Tired of the gruesome torture for hire jobs, Crackaboi teams up with a longtime friend and brutal killer Lil Turk. Together they mastermind the greatest heist in United States history. Surpassing Al Capone and Jon Gotti, the ruthless duo targeted every financial institution that was federally insured. Their lavish lifestyle enticed other potential members. Dodging the Feds, ducking the local authorities and slaughtering anyone who wandered down their path, they notoriously became known as, ” The Felony Lane Gang”. With crooked cops on their trail, the street rogues decide to take on one last heist. Crackaboi and Lil Turk burglarize a century old abandoned warehouse, in search of a quarter of million dollars supposedly stashed inside an old safe. They embark on a journey that leads to their beloved Glory, on life support fighting to stay alive. A bloody street-war against the Mexican Cartel Assassins and a trail of bodies that lead down a sea of destruction. With ties to the Illuminati and a billionaire oil tycoon, the double steel door safe tightly held secrets that would send chills through a psychopath’s spine.
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Do you like TV shows like Psychic Detective, The Dead Files or Medium? If you do, this book is for you. A team of psychics, telepaths and remote viewers—along with police support—investigate several cases of disappearances, murders, and missing persons.
The author opens the book with a foreword with many examples of actual cold cases, murders and disappearances that were solved by psychics. Some of them went on to fame and fortune, while others work quietly with police, presumably to this day. However, the fictitious psychics at this agency have skills and near-future technology that gives them powers above and beyond what famous psychics can do.
The founders, Richard, Honey, Rose, and Chuck, are joined by Joe Fraser, a billionaire from the U.S., joins the firm to help them make connections with local law enforcement. Their first case is a real challenge, involving a contentious divorce rife with infidelity and manipulation. Could Ms. Nicky Lestrange be married to a psychopath, or are there even darker things afoot? Honey’s psychic trail leads them into the life of a man who is hiding more than a much younger girlfriend. This case is the longest and most detailed of all, and the rest of the book delves into cold case files and unsolved mysteries, and the individuals on the psychic teams that resolve them.
The Deaduction Agency had a slow start that bogged down the opening of the novel. The first two chapters seemed caught up in describing every detail of the office and their technology but didn’t flesh out the characters very well. Some of it was high-tech and interesting, but I found myself wanting to get back to the “Case of the Deranged Husband.” Once that first case gets underway, we get to know the characters very well, and the rest of the story shines through.
The many the cases undertaken by the psychics range from very quick and easy, like the “Case of Spontaneous Eruption,” to edge-of-your-seat cases, where one of the team members places herself in danger to catch a serial killer. My favorite was the “Case of the Prodigal Son” which offered a surprising conclusion. Each case is like a series episode, which makes it fun and easy to read. One involved a scene of vigilantes murdering two men. In another, a pedophile ring is broken up, and after the perpetrators are arrested, their memories (and their quite literal demons) are destroyed by a machine called a “spectrometer.” Later, we learn what became of those men, and while it doesn’t absolve the Agency, the mediums would be able to use their machine for a different purpose. Indeed, by the end of the novel it’s clear that the Agency is changing its focus—for better or worse, it remains to be seen—and greater things lie ahead for Richard. With all of this there’s still a primary plot that develops throughout the course of each investigation.
If you like tales of paranormal activity, remote viewing and the powers of the mind, The Deaduction Agency is a multi-layered story with intriguing characters that you’ll enjoy.
Pages: 316 | ASIN: B00Y2I8DB4
A REPLY FROM THE AUTHOR:
A final, general observation on the review itself. The opening scene is criticized for its excess of descriptive detail, That is almost a verbatim criticism made by another reviewer, Marta Cheng in 2015, who stated: In some places, such as near the beginning of the book, there is an inordinate amount of detailed explanation provided as to the set up of the agency’s offices – details that detract from the momentum of the story. In response, I cut down the detail to a mere 360 words, which is hardly inordinate! It also became apparent that Marta (who got fond of changing her surname to put me off the scent) had not read the book in its entirety and was intent on having a dig at another reviewer from the same stable as herself.
To emphasize why it was done, I then suffixed the description with the following sentences:
Richard, the most senior partner in the agency, was busying himself constantly re-arranging brochures on a side table in the waiting area in reception. It was a quirky habit of his that Honey found most annoying. It also reflected his fussy preoccupation with orderliness and exact measurements.
Naturally, he was the architect of the office layout, which Honey was often tempted to rearrange, solely to unsettle him.
Love scenes soon followed as well! Some of this preoccupation is revisited later, as part of Honey’s tangled love life. What more can an author do?
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He Count’s their Tears is a about a psychotic killer preying on unsuspecting women. How do you capture the thoughts and emotions of a serial killer?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if I had an answer to this question? The simple truth of it is that I have no idea how I did this. I simply did. I never meant to write a book. I am a Lawyer, not a writer (or so I thought!!). One day I sat down and started writing. I kept writing, and there, on the page, was Aaron, on the ledge, which of course is how the book begins. The character simply unfolded before my eyes.
The writing in your story is very artful and creative, where as other books in this same genre use a language that is succinct, bare, and matter-of-fact. Was it a conscious effort to create a story in this fashion or is this style of writing reflective of your writing style in general?
Once again, if only I had something substantial to say about “my writing style” or “how I conceptualized the book”. This is how it happened; I sat there in front of my computer and typed. The end result was this book.
I thought that you did a great job in creating a genuine connection between the characters. With Aaron being a psychopath do you think he would ever be able to have a meaningful relationship with his cousin Constance?
Hmmm. Your question is answered in the Sequel! Even so, I will say this: Do you remember what Constance whispered to Aaron the day he was born? They were the same words that ruined her life in so many ways. “I will always protect you.” The irony of it is that the psychopath’s victim has no one to protect them during the “relationship” and the terrible journey towards emotional hell. The readers will learn more (much more) about the Aaron/Constance situation in the Sequel, which in itself will explain the very nature of how destructive (and incurable) this personality disorder actually is.
What was one of the hardest parts in He Count’s their Tears for you to write?
The hardest part was finding the time to write! I work full time, and I have a family to take care of. The laundry does not do itself, nor do the dishes! Carving out time to write required making some significant adjustments. My golf clubs have not left the trunk of my car since I put pen to paper, and gone are the days that I can curl up with a good movie on a Sunday afternoon. Even train rides to and from work became “writing time”, and yes I have missed my stop on more than several occasions!
What is the next book that you’re working on and when can your fans expect it to come out?
I am presently at work on the sequel to He Counts Their Tears. The Suffering Room picks up exactly where the first book left off. It explores the lives of the women Aaron targeted and discarded in the first book. The horrors of “life after the psychopath” (including trauma bonding, post traumatic stress syndrome, depression, suicide, and “overcoming pain”) are explored, as are the ways in which Aaron (here, in the typical fashion of the psychopath) seeks to maintain some connection with the women he has abandoned (purportedly just to “say hi” but in reality to see if he still has power over them). There are some surprising twists in the sequel, which I think will shock some people. I plan to release “The Suffering Room” in 2017. It will be followed by the last in this trilogy, The Parade to Hell, which will tie things up nicely (and yes, I do know what happens to Aaron at the end of the third book, but I’m not telling!).
A handsome, successful, charming man. Healer. Miracle maker. Aaron Stein is all those things. Behind the benevolent facade, however, hides a monster: a destroyer of souls who lusts after power and control. Aaron plays his ruse again and again with unsuspecting women who genuinely believe that they have met their new “best friend,” their “soul mate.” Covert hypnosis, edgy trysts, psychological warfare – they’re all part of the sick game he plays “to have all the power”
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In this gripping psychological thriller, author Mary Ann D’Alto tells the story of a man who looks perfect on the outside but is pure evil on the inside. Aaron Stein is an incredibly successful fertility specialist, and using his unique skill set of medical knowledge and his easy access to insecure and frightened women, he is able to serially psychologically manipulate and physically harm. But his sin doesn’t come without a price: we first meet Stein while he literally stands on the edge of suicide, prompted by his guilt and shame. When Aaron’s latest victimization takes an unexpected turn, will his sweet cousin Constance be able to get him through? Or will his crimes catch up to him?
Personally, I had a very hard time putting this down. I started out thinking I’d just a read a little before bed, and before I knew it, it was four a.m. and I was finished. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the lack of complexity in Aaron’s Stein’s character: the clean-cut, successful psychopath is such a trope at this point that Aaron’s movements at times were a little predictable. Things that were maybe supposed to shock, like his callous responses to the pleading of his victims, his incredible success as a doctor and external perfection, and his internal turmoil over whether or not he’s actually evil, have all been done in Patrick Bateman, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and tons of other “perfect psychopath” roles. But while this irked me a little, it may be an attractive quality for other people. After all, tropes are tropes because they resonate with readers on some level.
What redeemed this book from a potentially predictable route was the quality of the writing and the uniqueness of Mary Ann D’Alto’s voice. Typically, literature that features the “perfect psychopath”—The Silence of the Lambs, American Psycho, etc.—tends to have the same very succinct, bare, and matter-of-fact tone that reflects how an actual sociopath thinks. Writing in those types of books tends to stay away from too much internal doubt, expanded description, or floweriness. He Counts Their Tears is a rare exception, with D’Alto sparing no ornate description: “the dark brown coffee made a huge puddle on the pale grey rug. Aaron stared at it, and in his mind it was the [spoiler!]’s blood, and he was sixteen again. Instinctively, he wiped his hands on the tablecloth, and in doing so caused the cloth to move. As it moved, one of the glass candlesticks fell onto the table, its flame creating a small bonfire in the pinecone centerpiece” (Page 51).
D’Alto is also extremely skilled at creating genuine connections between her characters, and, unlike many other psychological thriller authors, keeps her list of connections short and meaningful. Without going into too much detail, the relationship between Stein and his cousin Constance is masterfully drawn out from childhood until the end, and we are provided just enough detail to fill in the meaningful gaps ourselves.
Overall, I can’t recommend this one enough. Whether you’re a regular reader of psychological thrillers, fascinated with psychopaths, or just looking for an addictive read, this is definitely the novel for you.
Pages: 196 | ISBN: 1457541858
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