Not too long ago, one of the neighborhood teenagers kicked a soccer ball into the fence and knocked off a couple of the points. If you're reading this, child; I still have your soccer ball. You can drop by and (confess) retrieve it any time!
In a section of Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium, two rival gangs rule the streets. For the Alvarado Street Diablos, it's been a year since the murder of one of their closest members at the hands of their sworn enemy, the North Rampart Lobos. A drive-by killing in his honor is planned, but things go wrong and an innocent bystander is the victim. Several hours later the one who pulled the trigger suffers a horrifying death, caused by something never before seen in its uniqueness. Many more such cases follow, all involving only these two gangs among the hundreds throughout the city. And each death occurs at the same time of day. The exact same time of day. What can these two enemies do to survive against an unstoppable power intent on their mutual destruction? How is a gang-hating young boy's attempt to save the life of a gang member tied into preventing a loved one's soul from eternal damnation? What does a mysterious psychic's prophecy conveyed earlier in New Orleans have to do with all of this?
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Keith Steinbaum's The Poe Consequence (Abbott Press, 2012) is one of the most creative thrillers I've read in a long time. It's hard to describe without turning my review into a spoiler, but just imagine a student of Poe exacting revenge from beyond the grave. Cool, cool, and cool! The real story, however, is a young boy's struggle to come to terms with the monstrous murder of his father without turning into some sort of monster himself. The Poe Consequence gets a little over the top in its depiction of Mexican-American gang members; a little subtlety would have gone a long way. Still, I enjoyed the read and would recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of The Poe Consequence to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. For full disclosure, see the sidebar.