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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Two Los Angeles gangs are targeted by a serial killer, but the police are stumped by the cause of death in the chilling horror novel, The Poe Consequence by Keith Steinbaum. Despite his twin brother Kevin's skepticism, Warren Palmer visits a psychic about a job. Instead of receiving a hope-filled prophecy, Warren is forewarned of violence and evil ahead in his future, and that he will suffer in the afterlife. Later, Warren and his young son are assaulted by a gang and when a rival gang arrives, Warren is killed in a drive-by shooting. Surprisingly, the healthy young man who pulled the trigger that ended Warren's life dies from a heart attack early the next morning. Now, whenever a member of one of those two gangs murders someone, the killer succumbs to heart failure at four a.m. As the death toll rises, the police are perplexed and are no closer to solving the case. Was the psychic correct? Is Warren seeking revenge from the other side?
The story is artfully narrated and performed by Dwight Kuhlman. I was impressed with Mr. Kuhlman's ability to delineate the characters, giving them depth and form. With accents and subtle vocal changes, his portrayal of the characters made them seem lifelike and relatable. His narration delivered a realistic perception of the story world. Brilliantly conceived, The Poe Consequence by Keith Steinbaum is a phenomenal tribute to Edgar Allen Poe's works. I am not usually interested in accounts relating to urban violence, but I was captivated by this story from the start. Mr. Steinbaum has captured the fear and hate associated with gangs amazingly well. I believe his portrayal of the gangbangers is remarkably well-balanced and realistic. By not entirely vilifying them, the character's personal lives are exhibited, making them relatable and even likable. I am also very impressed with the tarot reading; it is logical, genuine, and true-to-life. All in all, it is an eloquently written book that captivates its audience from the spellbinding beginning to the heart-stopping conclusion. With the references to Poe's stories woven into the plotline, it is an outstanding novel that will thrill lovers of his work and everyone else who enjoys a suspenseful and eerie horror story. Considering the authenticity of the story, there is explicit language, violence, and sexual content within the text, rendering the book more suitable for a mature audience.