Third Wheel

Fiction - Literary
327 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Richard R. Becker is an award-winning, best-selling American author. His debut collection of literary fiction and psychological thrillers broke into the top 100 literary short story collections on Amazon for three consecutive months. It also won first place in the ABR Book Excellence Awards, Spring 2022 BookFest Awards, 2023 Book Excellence Award, and was a finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards. Third Wheel is his debut novel.

Richard was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised by his grandparents after his father was killed in a car accident. They were poor and his grandmother suffered with cancer. These difficulties, along with Richard being afflicted with club feet, contributed to many early social and educational challenges.

Eventually, he took on a variety of jobs (fast food, retail paint, muralist, stage foreman, and convenience store clerk) to pay for his education. After graduation, he started a freelance career that led to the foundation of Copywrite, Ink., a 30-year-old strategic communications and writing services firm with publishing experience. He also taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 20 years.

Aside from writing, Richard has a broad range of interests, including travel, hiking, parks, fitness, illustration, photography, and spending time with family. He is married and has two children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Mick and Brady share a fellowship akin to that of blood brothers which comes from three years of participating in everything as a unit. Brady has reservations about Alex, another member of the group whose disturbing background and dark habits do little to endear him to others. Matters come to a head when Alex involves the gang in what they believe will be their biggest score yet. These young men are about to find out that they are completely unprepared for what they are walking into and must deal with the consequences in Richard R. Becker’s Third Wheel.

A young man discovers the harsh realities of coming of age in Third Wheel. Richard R. Becker's storyline incorporates the tough culture of binge drinking and over-the-top drug use that has gradually become popular with urban youth. Brady’s tendency to rationalize every situation he gets into despite his obvious failings makes him the perfect flawed hero. He understands what is expected even if he is frequently unable to meet those standards. Becker does well to flesh out a deeper understanding of the dynamics within Brady’s group of friends using conversations that hint at the direction the novel will take. The romantic subplot between Brady and Cheryl softens the somber tone with its authentic depiction of a typical boy's first romantic encounter. The best part is the way Becker’s storytelling technique incorporates realistic characters and subplots into a vivid story that is as engaging as it is thought-provoking. Becker deserves plaudits for the effort that went into creating this book and I enjoyed reading it.