3 out of 4 stars
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A gripping story from beginning till end, Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan is a true page-turner. I can assure you that I have been mesmerized, because I just wanted to start it and ended up finishing it in one sitting. We are thrown headfirst into the story with Patrick Carter saving a young teenage girl, Samantha McLeod, from a watery grave, attempted by two men who surprisingly pushed her into the water. His lifeguard instincts just kicked in, but unbeknownst to Patrick, he is now involved in unearthing the kingpin of an illegal weapon trade. What we think is a small attempt to murder for petty business is actually the outcome of a master plan, by Oscar Calander, son of Arthur Calander, who does his own criminal activities, but not in the magnanimous way his son does. Samantha was mistaken for her sister, Amelia, who had been Oscar’s girlfriend. Nobody knows of this and thus begins the story of murder, trade, kidnapping, shooting and police working day and night to unearth all of this. The task force of the small town called ‘The Village’, along with specialists from New York put all their energies in finding the criminal, who they think would be a threat to the entire nation. Patrick helps simply because he is otherwise broke and he slowly grows fond of Sam (Samantha), her younger brother, Justin and their grandmother, Jessica. The family is always in danger, but they learn to smile and have fun despite the fact that police patrol around their house in plainclothes.
I enjoyed this story! The author has definitely put in a lot of effort by not decreasing the suspense even a tad. I think my heart rate was as high as the growing suspense. Patrick seems aloof at first but his heart melts as he is unwittingly pulled into Justin’s company for playing almost every day. Jessica is the worried and doting grandmother who is angry at her son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Camilla, both who seem to take her for granted in raising the kids. Samantha is not portrayed as much, except for the opening scene. Amelia plays a great role in the story as you will find out that she was supposedly a threat to Oscar. Oscar is a reckless boy who thinks the money his father makes isn’t enough for him. The policeman who is assigned to head ‘Task Force 101’, as the mission is called; Andre Des Pas is a workaholic and a loving husband to his wife, Susan. The second-in-charge, Lucien Borodin, is kind of portrayed like his best sidekick throughout the story. I liked the extreme dedication of all of the policemen and policewomen, who leave no stone unturned to save the nation from these illegal traders.
With regrets, I have only one complaint about this book, but it is unforgivable. There were too many spelling and grammar mistakes. It seemed like a dictionary was not consulted properly. To name a few, “leaking” for “licking” and phrases like “I go change” for “I’ll go change” were not just common, they were extremely frequent. I personally dislike misspelled words to the extent where it’s almost an obsession to find mistakes, but I have to admit that this story took the cake. I don’t know if there was something wrong in the editor the author used, but as there were no problems with alignment, I am sad to say that these errors were probably genuine. I hope the author corrects them. There is a lot of work to do because there was approximately one misspelled word or grammar mistake in every paragraph. I got highly irritated but I loved the story too much so I ignored. I kind of got the hang of what mistakes would appear, but that doesn’t mean that I felt good about it. The punctuation had no problems, so I guess points may be awarded for that.
I think people of all ages would like this book except very young kids, because of the few violent scenes used. As there isn’t much gore described, with the violent acts simply stated factually, I’m sure everyone would be fine with that. I dislike violence in general, yet I found that in this book, it was phrased very subtly and I was fine with that. There are no “adult” scenes, which I appreciated. One or two mentions were very factual. Suspense lovers (like me) are in for a real treat.
The characters are described beautifully and the scenes vividly. I appreciate the effort the author has gone through to research the working of the police force and the descriptions of latest technology gadgets was simply mind-blowing. I liked the fact that all the characters were hard workers, which was a true inspiration. Even the people working for Arnold, or his son, are dedicated and devoted to their work, even though a few of them regret that they’re involved in criminal activities. Arnold’s secretary cum mistress, Martha Steiger plays a huge role throughout the book and your heart really goes out to her at times. Arnold’s wife, Cloe is a loving mother who would do anything to save her baby. The wives of the police force might not have been talked about much, but their steely determination to stand by their husbands is portrayed beautifully.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy this roller coaster ride, as there are too many twists and turns to count. Oscar’s workers try their own form of rebellion and Oscar himself is no dumb head. Patrick is found to be rather intelligent in the ways of the world, though he hasn’t completed high school. We meet another agent, Emy Walker, who takes an interest in Patrick, though they both know that dealing with her dictator father, Donald Walker, about the relationship, would be hard. Both of them persist and their love story is intertwined with the main plot in a simple and pleasing way.
I would like to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would have really liked to give it full points but with the magnanimity of mistakes, I am sad to give only 3 out of 4. I hope the mistakes can be thoroughly rectified. This would then be a bestseller for sure. The name has a unique role in the book, and I'm sure you'll smile when you see it. I thank the author for giving me such an awesome book!
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