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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In The Unwinding Cable Car by Andrew J Brandt, Hamilton Raines's life is falling apart. A once successful author, Hamilton has recently found one of his novels in the bargain bin of a local store, his wife Carol has just left him and his publishing contract has no chance of being renewed. His next novel has to be a best-seller or he is finished. When Hamilton visits a local coffee shop, he meets Jeremy, his biggest fan and an aspiring novelist himself. Hamilton is delighted to sign a copy of his novel but he is even more thrilled when a mysterious woman, Calliope, enters the coffee shop. Suddenly, Hamilton finds the enthusiasm to write again. Is it the coffee shop atmosphere or Calliope that is responsible for transforming his life? Hamilton is unsure. When Jeremy is found dead, Hamilton seizes the opportunity to manipulate the situation to attract fame once again. With Hamilton's next novel an instant best-seller, the future is looking bright, until Hamilton's past catches up with him. Soon those who helped him succeed return looking for payment, but not the financial kind.
The dark atmosphere of this novel was amazing. The plot unravels slowly, revealing subtle details about Hamilton's background and personality. I loved the tension and suspense throughout; it was completely gripping. Even when there were lulls in the action, you knew Hamilton was about to face another torrent of psychological mind games from his tormentors. Each character had an important part to play in the plot and was described so wonderfully, they jumped from the page. Andrew J Brandt knows exactly how to spark your imagination and build scenarios that are really chilling. The twists in the plot were completely unexpected. I did not foresee what unfolded. The Unwinding Cable Car is definitely not a book you want to read before bedtime. Even as the story came to its conclusion, the author threw another plot curveball into the mix. The final line in the Epilogue was a masterpiece.