Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Trial Of Tears by Chris Semal

Trial Of Tears by Chris Semal
Published By: Canon Publications LLC
Release Date: February - March 2012 (TBD)
Format: Paperback - 191 pages / eBook
ASIN: 9780983719
Genre: Suspense Thriller

About The Author:

Chris Semal was born in New York City and has lived there all his life. He is aware that other places exist and likes to visit them from time to time, but the city is a hard mistress to resist. A musician, singer and songwriter, he has played pretty much every rock club and bar in Manhattan at one time or another since the early 80s in various bands. He's seen the underside of the music industry - the good, bad and ugly - also through his solo work, under the lewscannon heading.

He went to the University of Miami to study Music Engineering, heading back north to do the only obvious thing possible, becoming a municipal bond broker and eventually working as a consultant building financial models.

In the early part of the millennium, between both consulting and band gigs, he wanted to expand on the 80 or so words he used in writing song lyrics to the 80,000 he would need for a novel. And so Semal's debut thriller set in New York City, Trial Of Tears (Paperback and eBook, cannon Publications, February 2012), was born, along with a passion for developing plots and characters.



Disclaimer: At the request of the author and publicist, a PDF edition of the book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Sunday, February 12, 2012, Chris Semal participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Book Description: 

Pete Watts is a former undercover narcotics cop who got way too close to his job. He now runs a music rehearsal studio that draws the underbelly of the industry: violent drug gangs, a strange assortment of hangers-on and a gorgeous ex-mercenary who wears makeup in the form of multi-colored tears running down her face. These tears are, in fact, decals on which different poisons are concealed. Some survive the Trial Of Tears, some don't. The story's taut climax is set in a posh townhouse in which only the courageous will emerge unscathed.

My Book Review: 

Trial Of Tears is a fast-paced suspense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The storyline is well written and intriguing; from the description of New York City and its various landmarks, to the behind the scene look into the music business, to mob wars and drug deals, to a crazy lady ex-mercenary with a penchant for poisonous decals and taste for blood, this novel has a chilling yet thrill seeking tone that captivated me and kept me turning the pages. The characters were very realistic, their complex personalities and interactions with each other were fascinating. I kept wanting to figure out how their lives intertwined with each other, it was that compelling of a story. I loved the crazy friendship between Pete Watts, ex-narcotic cop turned music studio owner, and his BFF Johnny "Styx" Kostykian, a jingle commercial writer for an advertising company. Their banter and escapades throughout the book kept me in stitches. The supporting characters in the story were also realistic and added more depth and intrigue to the story.  Alice was a fascinating character to me, I was so intrigued by this woman, yet she freaked me out with her unorthodox actions.

 As a teenager of the late 70s - early 80s, I appreciated the author's musical background experience and his love for the rock bands of those decades, it was like strolling down memory lane as the one liners from Styx, Stones, Led Zep and other bands were referenced throughout the book. Another blast from the past that had me smiling was the mention of the famous church turned nightclub, the Limelight. I had the pleasure of frequenting that famous landmark of NYC nightlife in the early 80s. Overall, this novel has all the ingredients that a true suspense thriller fan craves, but one word of caution, for all the suspense and intrigue, it does have some gnarly gore scenes that had me a bit freaked out, but then again that is all part of the true essence of the story.

Suspense thriller fans, Trial Of Tears will keep you fully engaged from the beginning to the surprisingly thrilling ending. Kudos to author Chris Semal on a great debut novel, I look forward to reading more of his novels.


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