Alibis of the Heart


Fiction - Southern
104 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2013
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Author Biography

Raised in Los Angeles, Darryl Sollerh grew up with a deep appreciation for its diverse communities and cultures. He has taught Literature, and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. His most recent works include "SHaDOW GAME", a FIRST PLACE WINNER in the Readers' Views Literary Awards as well as a First Horizon Award Finalist (Hoffer Awards), a CHOICE Award Winner, Rebecca Reads, and a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist. His "COWBOY AND INDIAN" received the SILVER MEDAL from Readers' Favorite Awards and his "ALIBIS OF THE HEART" is a Finalist in the Readers' Favorite Book Awards. His other, critically praised novellas, including "TRANCER" and "EDDY FALLS" have also been awarded FIVE STARS recommendation from Readers' Favorite Reviews. He currently lives in southern California with his wife and intrepid, adopted son.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

In Alibis of the Heart, Will Woods, a newly divorced lawyer from Chicago, leaves his career and broken marriage behind and goes to Okefenokee County, Georgia. A southern small town sunk deep into the loam and rot of its namesake swamp, Will sees it as a place to heal and write his true crime novel. There he meets Jasmine Bell, a mysterious southern exotic beauty with honey-colored eyes and sunset auburn hair. Two new murders occur in town, and they seem to point to her. Will is desperate to know the truth, and his next actions might make him the next victim. This gripping tale is written by Darryl Sollerh.

There are so many things about this southern fiction to enjoy and appreciate that it is tricky for me to know where to start. On the satisfaction level, there is the pleasure of a bitter-sweet romance between Will and Jasmine, charted with doubt and conviction. This is not a sentimental Hollywood-style girly kind of love story but one in which both characters are grounded in the situation they are in. The attempt to find out the truth behind the murders keeps the suspense high and exciting in a tightly written plot.

Alibis of the Heart is brilliantly entertaining and well-written. This book is difficult to leave until you finish reading the story. In the end, I completed it in just one sitting. Overall, it is a very fine achievement by Darryl Sollerh and I am lucky to read and discover his work.

Jack Magnus

When we first meet Will, the hero of Alibis of the Heart, by Darryl Sollerh, he's opening an envelope containing pictures of his wife in the arms of another man. As a lawyer in a big Chicago law firm, he knows just what to do -- cut his losses and teach her a legal lesson she won't forget. It's not an easy move, however; and Will's leave-taking of the apartment they share is harder than he thought it would be. Will is headed south to the Okefenokee swamp, to a little town by that name in Georgia where he spent time as a boy. He carries a picture of himself and a man whosw back is turned away from him, with the swamp lands stretching out behind them. When Will arrives in town, he finds a small diner tucked into a strip mall where he gets a cup of coffee served by a sultry waitress named Jasmine who grabs his attention and won't let go.

Settle into an easy chair and start reading Alibis of the Heart, and you'll soon be drawn into the steamy torpor of the Georgia swamplands where this Southern novel is set. Author Darryl Sollerh deftly makes this natural setting come to life as Will sets up housekeeping in a small cabin situated on the edge of the swamp and is lulled to sleep at night by the sounds of nature outside. He's there to start a new life as a true-crime writer, and we experience his wide-eyed openness to his new environment as he learns about the series of murders in town and he finds himself more and more attracted to Jasmine, who seems quite a mystery herself. Darryl Sollereh's Alibis of the Heart is lyrical and filled with portent and intrigue, and I found myself captivated from the very first page all the way through to the very last word. It's a wonderful read.

Lee Ashford

Alibis of the Heart by Darryl Sollerh is a tale of a “Yankee” lawyer, in the process of getting a divorce, who heads south to write the Great American Crime Novel. He encounters the stereotypical inbred, ignorant, close-lipped, good-ole-southern-boys cliché, always suspicious of “northerners” invading their community. However, in this particular case they have good reason to be suspicious; the town of Okefenokee holds some deep, dark secrets. Replete with “Bubba’s Bar,” a greasy spoon diner, a single real estate office, and a Laundorama, Okefenokee looks – on the surface – like any of hundreds of other small southern towns. But prick the surface and you’ll find a festering cesspool of murder, wife beatings, drunken brawls, and rumors galore. Will Woods wanted to write his novel about a true crime. He figured he could make up some of the details nobody could possibly know, and turn it into an instant bestseller. All he really needed to get started was a sensational crime, preferably one that had never been solved. That, and somebody – anybody – who would talk to him about it.

Alibis of the Heart is an intriguing story. Every time you thought you knew who the killer was, another suspect would pop up, looking more suspicious than the previous suspect. When you finally learn the identity of the real killer, you will understand why Will never did write his book. There are some serious twists in this tale, and even some moments of satisfaction when various disgusting, disreputable, or dishonorable people get their comeuppance. In life there are certain personality types that people just love to see bad things happen to; in Alibis of the Heart, bad things DO happen to those people, and it is very satisfying when it happens.

MaryAnn Koopman, GOODREAD

This book was very captivating. The plot twists were so rapid I just couldn't put the book down. I really enjoyed it and the ending took me by surprise.