Book Review: Idiot’s Tale By Anthony Land

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

When a distraught young woman bursts into private investigator John Rainwater’s office to announce that she has just escaped from a trio of kidnappers, it proves to be a perfect case for a six-foot, hard-muscled ex-Marine with a .45 automatic in his shoulder holster —- none of which describes Rainwater. He much more closely resembles another character’s sneering assessment: “middle-aged geek with a gun and an unmerited confidence in your ability to handle a hard chance.”

He is, however, a highly intelligent geek, with a flair for research, which leads him to discover that the mysterious White Stone about which his beautiful green-eyed client, Morgana Trehane, was questioned by her captors could be the realization of the ancient alchemists’ dream of turning base metal into gold. Yet something far more terrible could be at the heart of the web of lies, greed, appalling violence and great peril into which they find themselves drawn by Roni Miller, a heartless and possibly insane ex-Mossad agent.

In the steadily darkening, seriocomic course of IDIOT’S TALE, Rainwater will experience unconsummated love, heroism owing more to luck than courage, unmerited wealth and looming annihilation presided over by the spirit of the most misanthropic man he ever knew.

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I loved this 22 chapter book. It was written in John’s first person point-of-view. The opening sentence “I was breathing hard, but the other guy was out cold on the bar’s sticky beer-stained floor” had me hooked right away. Anthony Land had a brilliant talent with dialogue. The arguments, heart to hearts, manipulative lies, and wrong assumptions were very engaging. The author was also great with describing body language, so I could see the full picture vividly. I laughed a couple of times because John, Morgana, Morgana’s dad, and Roni had sarcastic wit–my favorite type of comedy. It also had a personal touch because at times it felt like the main character was talking directly to readers. It made me more invested in his story.

Even though John was about 50 and Morgana was in her late 20’s, I wouldn’t have minded seeing them end up together. His crush on her was cute. They were my favorite characters of the story. I especially enjoyed when they made their way to Miami to continue trying to solve the mystery of the location of the White Stone.

My favorite lines: 1) I meant it as sarcasm, but came off as stupidly cheerful. Damn! 2) My business card says ‘private investigator.’ Nowhere does it mention ‘heroic.’ 3) I hadn’t realized before that there is a difference between knowing something is true and feeling that it’s true. 4) This woman, however, had said the three words that every P.I. considers positive evidence that a real need for his service exists: “I have money.”

I love books that make me think, so I liked that John was very analytical and philosophical. A situation that made me feel sorry for him was: what if Morgana was using him to make her father jealous? It was sad that he was a loner and couldn’t accept that he may have found a genuine friendship. The very last sentence of the story brought a tear to my eye.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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