Heartless Ambition

Fiction - Drama
204 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2022
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Here I am at the age of 90 believing that I can write a book. Would I or anyone who knows me think such a thing possible? At the beginning of 2020, I don’t think so. Still I wanted to do it. I really do love to dream up scenarios and try to get them into some kind enjoyable reading. Hence, my husband, my children, and the few friends I have still standing have tolerated my efforts for the last many months.
My first attempt at fiction writing was a modest success. TARNISHED sold a few and received positive feedback from the READERSFAVORITE organization as well as many of my readers. This spurred me on, and the result is a fictitious saga about everyday life and the decisions we all must make while living it. I have attempted to include the foibles that arise in many of us as we try to survive, prosper, and still be human.
In Heartless Ambition there are two main characters; one who works constantly to become successful on his own merit, and one who is constantly manipulating others for his. The resulting disastrous “meeting of the twain”, becomes the main plot of the book. In my long life, I have seen the ogre in all of us triumph over our intentions not to injure anyone along the way.
Please enjoy the narrative, the characters, and situations they find themselves in.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

It takes one bigot to cause societal havoc. This is the premise behind Heartless Ambition by Beverly A. Massey. The town of Branfield, New Hampshire takes pride in the fact that their humble town is special. Its townspeople do their best to make it different from the rest of the world by maintaining peace and order. But the townspeople will wake up one day to realize that their town is just a dream that is not immune to societal evils as Andre Jan Gertz assumes the mayoral position and has his ambition set on becoming a senator. Much has changed in the town since he became the mayor, and the wonderful diversity in his town’s population is no longer what it used to be. Gertz is a politician who is determined to win regardless of the cause, but his plots and schemes will not go unchallenged.

Reading Heartless Ambition is a thrilling and satisfying experience for its reliable narration and gossipy dialogues among the townsfolk that give you an idea of what’s going on. Beverly A. Massey infuses it with her own brand of storytelling that shows a fondness for characters that makes the storyline larger-than-life as they express their sentiments on how one man changes their town for the worse and how it affects them. It’s satisfying to think of the Branfield townsfolk as your typical neighbors that you stop and chat with once in a while. Massey creates an infectious neighborly vibe where you are compelled to get involved because your ambitious town mayor is sweeping your once-idyllic town toward deterioration. Heartless Ambition is a must-read because doesn’t stop at character studies. It is also a reflection of the great lengths that one is willing to go in the name of self-interest.

Grant Leishman

Heartless Ambition by Beverly A. Massey is a whimsical tale of power and politics in small-town U.S.A. Andre Jan Gertz, the son of Belgian immigrants, was mayor of Branfield, New Hampshire, and had created the “perfect” place for those with the means to live safely, quietly, and in their cocoon, shielded from the worst elements in society. Andre, though, has his political sights set higher than the mayoralty of just a small town in New Hampshire; he fancies his chances of becoming a State Senator and wielding much more power and influence. He had no worries about his beloved town, though, as his loyal wife Gladys was more than willing and able to step into his shoes and assume the mantle of mayor. When three female amateur detectives who had lived all their lives in Branfield decided to investigate their mayor and mayor-in-waiting a bit more deeply, they uncover a skeleton or two. Andre’s past would come back to haunt him when a tall mystery man by the name of Morris George Chance, a wealthy and famous musician, suddenly appeared in town seeking vengeance for some long past injustice committed against him.

Heartless Ambition is a gentle and cozy mystery story that Beverly A. Massey unpacks slowly and with some clever twists and turns. I particularly enjoyed the three amateur detectives who had no idea of the maelstrom of problems they were walking into when they decided to liven up their boring lives by investigating Mayor Gertz and his wife, to assess the suitability of Gladys as the next mayor of Branfield. The plot contains enough red herrings and easy twists and turns to keep the reader invested and interested until the end. As a treatise on power and the ability of power to corrupt, the author created a wonderful character in Andre Paul Gertz. As an immigrant’s son, he felt he had a point to prove that he could be successful in this environment and he was so absolutely laser-focused on his growing wealth and fame that he lost touch with any sense of humanity. The author explored this well and gave us a character that we could despise. This is a short, sharp read that will appeal to someone who wants to read a good story in one or two sittings. I can recommend this read.

Pikasho Deka

Heartless Ambition by Beverly A. Massey follows the lives of the inhabitants of the fictional town of Branfield, New Hampshire. Andre Jan Gertz, son of Belgian immigrants, is a successful businessman and the current mayor of Branfield, with ambitions to run for the position of Senator of New Hampshire. Meanwhile, his wife Gladys prepares to become the next mayor of the town. Unbeknown to others, the Gertz family has a dark past. Gladys's nephew, Paul Richard Middleton, who was raised in the Gertz household from the age of 12 to 14, is now back in town as a new man, eager for revenge upon those he believes wronged him. Caught in the middle are the local bar owner, Jessie, and Paul's old friend, Luther. Will the oncoming events change the course of the humdrum town of Branfield forever?

Heartless Ambition is a slice-of-life story that demonstrates how even seemingly innocuous towns can have hidden secrets, just waiting to be exposed at the opportune time. Beverly A. Massey accurately portrays a small town in America, with gossiping women, talkative bar owners, rebellious youngsters, and selfish politicians manipulating their way to the top. The characters are colorful, with distinct personalities and motives that leave a mark on the reader. This is a character-driven drama, and as such, the author takes her time to set up the characters and let the plot get into the groove. I especially enjoyed the dialogue, as it genuinely felt like how people talk in small towns across America. Highly recommended.

Foluso Falaye

To the townspeople of Branfield, NH, Andre Jan Gertz and Gladys Gertz are a "happy, popular, and successful" couple. What they don't know is the nasty secret the couple hopes to keep in the past. Everyone in Branfield believes that Andre, the likable and intelligent mayor of the town, is "the luckiest thing that ever happened to Branfield". His wife, on the other hand, is not as friendly or politically inclined. She rarely smiles or speaks publicly. Enters Morris George Chance, one of the richest musicians in the world, with his bizarre mission that involves a traumatic experience from the past. What plan does an aggrieved visitor have for Branfield's famous couple? Find out in Beverly A. Massey's Heartless Ambition, a shocking, suspense-filled plot that explores vengeance, abuse, and covert racism.

Infuriating crime, heart-racing suspense, and popcorn-worthy gossip, Heartless Ambition packs a fascinating combination of elements that will keep you busy and entertained when you need to be. It doesn't have strong, well-developed characters because the timeline of the story is too fast to allow readers to warm to them. However, I liked the way that the story seemed to take control of my emotions as if the events were real. Beverly A. Massey did a fantastic job of bringing together the diverse pieces of the story from different times and parts of the world for a climactic finish. Though fictional, stories like this reflect reality and reveal how dark the human soul can become if left unrestrained and allowed to give in completely to narcissistic desires. If you enjoy poignant stories about social injustice, you might like this book.