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Going Down

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Sep 28, 2013: Reading When the Deep Purple Falls is a bit like being at the top of the Grand Canyon to start a hike – it might be an interesting journey, but it quickly becomes evident that the path here is down all the way. It is, for the most part, an eerily quiet depiction of a criminal whose life is falling apart, and who’s too numb to really feel it or know what to do. Our protagonist, Frank (a.k.a. Bardos), works for Mack, who seems to be sort of a small-time crime boss operating in the Maryland suburbs of DC. He’s been working for Mack ever since his uncle died . . . while working for Mack, as well.

The author does a good job of conveying how a person with no other opportunities and limited skills can gradually become completely enmeshed into the criminal world, with seemingly no way out. Frank comes from a background of numerous foster homes and juvenile hall, and doesn’t seem to have anything to recommend him, other than the fact that he’s willing to do just about anything when he first asks Mack for a job. As the story goes on, however, Frank is almost unable to sleep due to nightmares and eventually gets cause to doubt things about Mack, such as who actually killed his uncle and when Mack took an interest in him in the first place.

The writing is first rate in this piece; it flows well and has no noticeable typos. Keep in mind, however, that this is a 9 chapter prelude/promo for the author’s soon-to-be released novel. By the end of it, although I definitely liked the author’s style and found it effective and compelling, I didn’t feel like there was enough there to truly get a sense of how the author would tackle a longer work. I was also kind of hoping that, per the tags, there would be some comedy in this piece to break up the heaviness, but although I’m highly attuned to black comedy, I really didn’t find any in this piece, so be warned.

At any rate, this is a solid story and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in true crime-style fiction.

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