In Death As In Life

A Judy Vernon Story

Fiction - Drama
401 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

During the 2020 Covid lockdown in Beijing, Sonny completed the Start Writing Fiction course from Future Learn. Two exercises from week two were to describe a writing space, and to imagine a character.
These two exercises became the first chapter of this book, as Sonny continued writing. The simple exercise in a writing course became a series of five character-driven stories focused around the life of the main character, Judy Vernon.
Experiential travel, living in different countries, and working in remote and unusual locations, through seven different careers, has introduced Sonny to a range of unusual characters, broken people, and misfits who fuel the characters he brings to life in his writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

In Death As In Life is a paranormal mystery drama by Sonny Kohet. Judy Vernon, a freelance journalist, was sitting in a Kansas café when she saw a middle-aged man having a heart attack, pleading with his eyes in his dying moments. Feeling his presence around her, Judy investigates the man she later discovers is Frank Farrington, a former investment banker and owner of Phoenix Imports. Soon, Judy finds herself interviewing his family members, including his temperamental ex-wife, Myriam, his problematic friend, Billy, and his brother's unfaithful wife, Alison, who somehow develops a crush on her. Meanwhile, Judy begins a passionate romance with businessman Myron Myerson, who is determined to help his troubled niece get parole. As Judy delves into the lives of these strangers, she develops a deeper appreciation for Frank's willingness to give people second chances.

In Death As In Life is a captivating slice-of-life drama novel with a slight sprinkling of the paranormal. I found this book to be a rich exploration of human behavior. Sonny Kohet weaves an engaging yarn that perfectly demonstrates how unforeseen circumstances lead people to make choices and mistakes that can change their lives. There are a lot of characters, but Kohet ensures that each has a distinct personality and story arcs that, in the end, converge to conclude the tale in a satisfying way. I especially enjoyed the plot threads involving Judy, Myron, Rebekah, and Frank. Kohet has a compelling writing style that makes the narrative immersive and a breeze to go through. Readers who love character-driven stories will find this one thoroughly entertaining.

Alma Boucher

In Death As In Life: A Judy Vernon Story by Sonny Kohet is an urban fantasy. A shadow is cast across Judy’s table at the Kansas Café by a man standing outside, shouting into his phone. If the eyes are the windows to someone’s soul, then this man’s soul is full of anger. The man falls to the ground while having a heart attack. The anger in his eyes is replaced by surprise when he realizes he is dying. The man is looking into Judy’s eyes, pleading with her to help him keep his promise. Judy is a freelance journalist, and she keeps seeing Frank’s pleading eyes. After reading the three sentences about his death in the newspaper, Judy decides to investigate Frank’s life. Judy becomes involved in Frank's life as she learns more about him and what he wants from her.

In Death As In Life is an outstanding novel by Sonny Kohet. The plot was excellently planned and executed. I was intrigued from the beginning until the end. The story is fast-paced and full of surprises and with all the twists and turns, I never knew what to expect next. There was always a surprise waiting around the corner. It was a page-turner, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. There was no way that I could predict what would happen next. The characters were authentic and relatable. My favorite character was Frank. He made sure justice was served, even though it was not his responsibility. The story is brilliantly written and has exceeded my expectations by far.

K.C. Finn

In Death As In Life: A Judy Vernon Story is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, suspense, and social issues subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to sexual themes in the storytelling, LGBTQ+ sexual content, and some instances of strong language and violence. Penned by author Sonny Kohet, the story begins as Judy Vernon witnesses a man, Frank Farrington, have a heart attack in a Kansas café. With his dying breath, Frank conveys a silent plea to Judy, leaving her with a sense of responsibility. Haunted by Frank's presence, Judy embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about his life and the reasons behind his final request. As she delves deeper into Frank's world, Judy finds herself entangled in unexpected relationships, including taking on the care of his former partner Billy and forming a bond with Frank's complex ex-wife, Miriam.

Author Sonny Kohet has crafted a complex and multi-layered narrative that explores Judy's evolving emotions and her growing connection to Frank's life. Through Judy's journey, the author raises thought-provoking questions about the impact of human connections on our lives and the choices we make. Kohet's storytelling is rich and immersive, capturing the intricacies of relationships and the profound changes they can bring with some very striking moments of trauma and triumph, giving the plot real gravitas. Whether Judy's quest will lead her back to her previous life or forever change her path remains a poignant question that readers will eagerly follow. Overall, In Death As In Life is a compelling and emotionally charged novel that will keep readers engaged from cover to cover, and I’d highly recommend it.