Review of The Dark and Lonely Road

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Kajori Sheryl Paul
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Review of The Dark and Lonely Road

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Dark and Lonely Road" by Sean Gates.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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The Dark and Lonely Road by Sean Gates takes us on a thrilling journey of redemption, love, and second chance.

Set in the 1950s, the novel follows Hieronymus Cogbill, a WWII veteran who has lost all hope in life. Cogbill is plagued with guilt and spends his days alone. He is not able to keep a job as well. The arrival of Miss Ethel Burkitt changes everything. After noticing some suspicious activities on her uncle's property, Pope Field, Ethel decides to seek the help of Cogbill. Little do they know that her decision will turn her and Cogbill's lives upside down.

What is happening on Jack Pope's property? Will Cogbill and Ethel be able to uncover the mystery? Most importantly, will they get a second chance in life and love?

The Dark and Lonely Road is a beautifully written novel. Sean Gates has a way with words. Gates’ use of vivid words and imagery enmeshes the reader in the story. The way the milieu of the book is painted is admirable. I, especially, loved the way nature is described. The line “The sun stitched her light brown curls with copper and gold, and brought out the dusting of freckles across her cheeks” is only one of many examples of the author's writing prowess.

Sean Gates actually teleports us to the 1950s. Along with Cogbill and Ethel, we traverse the changing landscapes of post-WWII King George County and its surrounding areas. We witness the open fields, old roads, vintage diners, stores, and farmlands. We get to know about the famous restaurants and casinos of the time. I appreciate how Gates gives us a mini history lesson about The Colonial Beach Hotel and The Little Reno Restaurant without making it tedious. Also, I love the musical references of the era.

Gates showcases the aftereffects of the Second World War on the people of that era. Despite the war being long over, its shadow still loomed over. Like Cogbill, many were wracked by guilt and unable to move on with life. The economic condition of the era was not good as well. Each and everything was either changing or on the verge of change. Sean Gates masterfully portrays the racism that was prevalent at that time, even during and after the war when many black people lost their lives along with white people.

The characters of The Dark and Lonely Road are all well-fleshed out. Harry Cogbill starts off as a lonely and cynical man with no hope in life. In fact, his life seemed to have come to a standstill. As the story is told from his perspective, we get a detailed insight into his psyche. Hence, we are able to appreciate his growth. I have to say I admire his cooking skills. Ethel Burkitt is one of those rare women who is able to change a man's life. She does not let Cogbill wallow in self-pity. She is there for him. At the same time, she doesn't let him pull her down. Ethel herself had a difficult childhood. The way she turned her life around is admirable. Her bond with her father, Frank, is well-portrayed. She does not let him go after finding Cogbill. At the same time, she does not let him come between her and Cogbill. Her sharp wit and straightforward attitude make her my favorite. Jack Pope is a complicated character. Vasiliou, Drakos, and Nestor Lazos bring the elements of thrill and action to the story. All three had different characteristics. It was actually fun uncovering their trails along with Cogbill.

Overall, The Dark and Lonely Road is a scintillating read. I did not find anything to dislike in this highly enjoyable novel. Hence, I happily rate Sean Gates’ The Dark and Lonely Road 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book to fans of mystery novels with a dash of romance and self-discovery. People interested in the 1950s will definitely love this book as well.

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The Dark and Lonely Road
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Julius Peters
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Post by Julius Peters »

This sounds like an immersive journey through both history and human emotions. I'm intrigued by the blend of mystery, romance, and self-discovery. It's fascinating how the author captures the essence of post-WWII America, shedding light on the lingering effects of the war and the prevalent racism of the time.

I appreciate how the author weaves in historical details without overwhelming the narrative. It adds depth to the story without slowing down the pace. With such glowing praise, I can't wait to dive into this novel. Thanks for the insightful review and recommendation!
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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

The 1950s are not my favorite period but I'm curious about the mystery, so I'm curious about what Harry Cogbill will discover, I mean, besides a new life for himself. Thank you for your great review!
Ciao :)
Massimo
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