|Those Whom the Gods Love|
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By E. B. Alston
Paperback-282 pages- $20.00
Those Whom the Gods Love is set in the early 1960s in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Two popular black teenagers are brutally murdered and the only suspect has an alibi. Bill Davis, back home after a harrowing military experience in Vietnam, is engaged to marry his sweetheart, the lovely Virginia Baker
Bill’s childhood friend, Wayne Shearin, is now an aide to the Director of the SBI. While searching for somebody with a military background to go to Jacksonville, he comes across Bill’s name. Bill agrees to go to work undercover as a member of the crew with the man who is the main suspect.
Bill gradually comes to realize that the suspect, who has an ordinary job, is a pathological killer even though he and those he works with would never suspect what kind of man he is.
The action takes place in and around the Marine town of Jacksonville. Events move inevitably toward a dramatic climax, after Virginia pays a surprise visit on Valentine’s Day. Her visit triggers a chain of events that lead to a thrilling car chase through town, and a brutal and dramatic ending in Holly Ridge, NC.
We meet the hero in this exciting tale through a superbly written series of conversations between a young lady and a housekeeper. Through these conversations (which take place over two and one half years) one man’s life in the war is chronicled. These same conversations keep us abreast of life on the home front and a girl’s growing love.
After the war, Bill Davis, who we already know is quick, incisive, a firearms expert, and a man of his word, is requested to go undercover to try and solve two racial murders. His accomplice is a beautiful lady, also on her first undercover assignment. Together they deal with a self centered, mean, explosive man of no moral values who is employed as the head of a telephone construction crew. Dealing with the various members of his crew and their assorted personalities is every bit as challenging as trying to trip up the suspected murderer.
The action takes place in a variety of locations. The author’s descriptive powers are such that one can really sense the seedy-ness of the rooming house and feel the rising tension in a bar room where the same song has been played over and over all night.
This account is set in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Big fast cars and America’s love of them were a hallmark of that era. The author capitalizes on this and describes several different automobiles and artfully works them into the plot. Observing the elaborate means and ways that people devised to deliver messages covertly before text messaging, e-mail, and cell phones came along was also a delight. Clandestine meetings kept the story moving along at a rapid pace.
This book is full of well developed characters. There are several side lines that give the reader a good feel of what life was like in the early sixties. The basic plot is solid, the pace is brisk, and there are unexpected twists in the action that keeps the reader guessing through the last page.
September 19, 2005
From the Writer's Digest
“I enjoyed the endearing and not so endearing characters as they lived their unusual and exciting lives. There was lots of natural sounding dialog that moved the plot along. The plot was intricate with many twists and turns—and some surprises. The workings of how telephone poles are installed added an extra dimension to the novel as did the military scenes. Those Whom the Gods Love had plenty of romantic interludes, surprises and excitement. The author is certainly a student of human nature. His insight into how and why people act as they do was accurately displayed in his novel. I thought the cover was extremely eye-catching and should make readers want to see what is inside.” Writers Digest- December 2005
This Book is available in the United Kingdom through Bertram Books