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The Interview: Country on Fire

By

Worth reading 😎

A book touching on modern times, but in need of more polish. Relevant to today's issues.

Synopsis

As protests, riots, fires, and rampant crime rock the world, Shawn Thomas finds himself in an interview room the morning after the most violent night in Atlanta's history. APD Detective Vaughn has made it his mission to find out how things escalated the way they did, but when his questioning takes a turn down a dark, unexpected path, Thomas scrambles to tell a believable story. It doesn't take long for Thomas to realize that he's playing tug-of-war in his own mind and his fear of being caught is suddenly outweighed by his fear of finding out who he really is. Lazarus' psychological thriller, The Interview: Country on Fire, takes a look at current events like the BLM and ANTIFA protests and examines the mind of a man in his struggle to belong to something bigger than himself, something important and historical. The Interview delves deep into Shawn Thomas' mind and memories to find answers, but the result is nothing but more questions and confusion. And just as the suspense seems to end and the truth is finally revealed, the response turns deadly.

This novella delves into some heavy topics right off the bat. Political issues, civil unrest, and racial inequality are all important themes in this story. The author takes us to a police interview room the morning after violent crimes are committed, where a suspect is grilled by police about his involvement. What I found interesting about the story is the unreliable narrator. Can we trust the main character's memories of the previous night?


The author has a background in law, which is evident with his writing. His superior knowledge in legal matters enhances the story and gives it an authentic feel. I felt as if I were right inside of the interview room with the police officer and the main character, Shawn Thomas. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, the excitement of the story doesn't disappoint.


My only problems with the novella were the grammatical and spelling errors that need correcting, and I also wanted more. I felt the novella could have been developed deeper into a full novel. The characters and plot are fascinating and I want to delve further into the mind of the main character. I also found reading from the narrator's point of view was a bit confusing. Trying to discern reality from fantasy was difficult, though it's obvious that is what the author intended. I felt the idea was great, but the execution needed a little more work.


I commend the author for writing a story reflecting the anguish and frustration of modern times. This is a story that feels like it was ripped from the headlines of the latest news story. Protests and police brutality are issues on everyone's minds these days. Lazarus wants you to think about what is happening in the world. The Interview: Country on Fire will force you to contemplate society's malignancies, while also taking you on a wild ride.

Reviewed by

Rachel Patterson's poetry has been published in several literary journals, such as The Penmen Review. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English, and she is completing her MFA in Creative Writing. Rachel lives near Pittsburgh with her husband, son, and three crazy cats.

Synopsis

As protests, riots, fires, and rampant crime rock the world, Shawn Thomas finds himself in an interview room the morning after the most violent night in Atlanta's history. APD Detective Vaughn has made it his mission to find out how things escalated the way they did, but when his questioning takes a turn down a dark, unexpected path, Thomas scrambles to tell a believable story. It doesn't take long for Thomas to realize that he's playing tug-of-war in his own mind and his fear of being caught is suddenly outweighed by his fear of finding out who he really is. Lazarus' psychological thriller, The Interview: Country on Fire, takes a look at current events like the BLM and ANTIFA protests and examines the mind of a man in his struggle to belong to something bigger than himself, something important and historical. The Interview delves deep into Shawn Thomas' mind and memories to find answers, but the result is nothing but more questions and confusion. And just as the suspense seems to end and the truth is finally revealed, the response turns deadly.

The Interview

       The interview room wasn’t anything like the movies or television shows. There was no cold metal table, no dim lights, no two-way mirror at all. It was a simple room, no windows, with a cheap, old table about four feet wide and three feet deep in the middle surrounded by three worn leather chairs, one on my side, two on theirs. There was only one picture that hung on the wall next to the one door to my right, above the dirty light switch. I snapped a pic

 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Atlanta Police Department is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crimes, ensuring the safety of our residents and building trust in partnership with our community.


Vision Statement

We are a source of pride for the residents of Atlanta, admired among law enforcement agencies worldwide, recognized for our professionalism, integrity, and service to our communities.


Core Values


Professionalism –

Taking pride in our actions, duties, development, and appearance


Integrity –

Adhering to moral and ethical principles at all times


Commitment –

Striving for excellence, accountability and effectiveness in our performance


Courage –

Instilling trust and standing for justice in the face of danger


It was 72 degrees in the room, if I were to guess, and they were kind enough to put a bottle of cold water in front of me, which I could sip at any point given that I was not in cuffs or shackles. A box of tissues stood at attention in the middle of the table. I wore my new KD shoes, simple jeans, and a dark blue Ralph Lauren polo, untucked, so I was comfortable enough. I figured comfort is everything in this type of situation. I was going to be here awhile.

I took a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves and I could feel my hands slightly trembling under the table. As thoughts raced through my head, I couldn’t help but play the incident over and over again in my head, but sometimes the details would change here and there. I had to figure this shit out before the detective came into the room. He would want details, I knew, but everything happened so fast. Again, unlike the movies or television, things were not planned out step by step from beginning to end; rather, the first steps were planned and whatever happened thereafter was in the heat of the moment, an uncontrollable emotional high governed by mob rule. I should have known better.

I took another deep breath and held it for three seconds. When I got home last night after the protest, I experienced a feeling I had never before felt. I was part of something big, part of a monumental change, a paradigm shift, and now, unfortunately, a participant in what could very well be considered by many to be a crime, maybe a serious one. There was a rush, a feeling of righteousness and primal fear all at once. I didn’t know whether to party or part ways with the world.

I slept about two hours last night, if you could call it sleep, and was unsurprisingly summoned back to the living by APD pounding on my door. Nothing will sober anybody up quicker than that. I knew why they were here and better to face the music than risk getting shot. Atlanta didn’t need another martyr. I opened the door, invited them in, and politely asked if I could get dressed. My demeanor must have knocked them on their heels; I think they were expecting me to be combative. But I’m not a violent person. 

They were quite professional, saying that they just wanted to talk to me about what happened the night before and I believed them. They let me dress, granted they watched my every move, led me to an unmarked car without cuffs and even let me sit in the passenger seat rather than in the back. Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I had thought. Maybe everything would be okay. Maybe.

About the author

Writer, lawyer, teacher, but mostly student of our strange times. view profile

Published on September 15, 2020

Published by

20000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Mystery & Crime

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