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The Desire Card


Worth reading 😎

Solid concept, but after a very strong opening/build up, it sort of petered out, action-wise, for me until the very end.

This was a solid concept that drew me in from the beginning. I fully expected not to like Harrison, and I wasn't disappointed - he's fairly vile, representing the "ME, ME, ME!" attitude that seems all too common these days... Despite this, his story grabbed me from the opening pages and I was exceptionally curious to see where the Desire Card would take him (knowing full well it wouldn't be anywhere good). Somewhere about a quarter of the way in things went off the rails for me, story-wise, though and I had a hard time finding my way back into any sense of connection or engagement with the story - until the very end...

I think that is as much about me as a reader/person as about the book - although I definitely think the book could use a bit of tightening as Harrison's life devolves into (and immediately after) his experiences in Mumbai. I am not a person who enjoys watching a train wreck - and I especially don't enjoy watching it D R A G out. That's what it felt like the story did - torturously dragged itself on and on, milking every drop of negativity possible out of Harrison's life. I get that this is a cautionary tale and this was likely intentional, but it made for a tough slog of a read. It was especially difficult to deal with after the engaging beginning - which was also about Harrison confronting his demons, but felt like it was presented in a much sleeker, crisper fashion that rolled along at a much faster and more enjoyable clip.

The ending picked up and the book hit its stride again, but I almost put it down and left it down a couple of times in the middle - it was only my curiosity that kept me rolling along. I'm glad I know how it wrapped up, but definitely think we could have gotten there in a more streamlined fashion without sacrificing anything in the overall story. It's a timely and compelling concept with a lot of potential for future story lines (the author mentions that there will be more books), and I think a tighter edit to bring the pacing into a more even keel in line with the start/finish of this one would turn this into a superb series.

Reviewed by is mostly focused on book reviews and guest posts on the writing process these days; family life has sucked up much of the time I used to spend writing my own fiction. But one of these days, I'll get back to it...

About the author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels SLOW DOWN, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD, and THE ANCESTOR. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. view profile

Published on February 21, 2019

Published by Fahrenheit Press

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by