Author's Showcase: A Brave New World
April 21, 2012
The Book: The Toast of Broadway
The Author: Ian MacGregger
The Story: What begins as a series of bizarre murders in the theater district of Manhattan, quickly develops into a global struggle against a powerful international criminal cabal. Anna engages a criminal mastermind in a chess game where real pieces are slaughtered. Fortunes are lost and gained. The stakes are high, the chessboard global, the weapons varied but the end game objective is the same – total victory.
Review: High tech, high drama and hardware. There’s more to Ian’s novel than intrigue and mystery, there’s also firepower. And at the heart of it all, a woman who’s one step ahead of the rest. But just how does she do it? Then there’s the unusual array of `pets’. Certainly not your average crime novel. Loved it.
Review: This is a fun, easy read, and a story I had a hard time putting it down. The narrative starts very quickly; I like the way the reader is dropped right into the action. The pace keeps the reader engaged throughout the tale. Prose structure contributes to the fast pacing; it reminds me of Hemingway – short, simple sentences that make the narrative easily understandable.
Review: W. H. Auden said that every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self. I say that every novel is an autobiography, of sorts, perhaps not complete but aren’t most writer’s characters some extension of a part of themselves?
No recent book I have read proves these suppositions to be as true as “The Toast of Broadway” by Ian MacGregger. Part magic realism, part crime novel and wholly entertaining, MacGregger’s story is international in scope and location, filled with unforgettable characters, the most notable being the psychic detective, Anna, and her assistant, Ian (how can a writer not make a character named after himself a charm?). If ever two characters prove Auden’s statement to be true, it is Anna and Ian.
As is true with any fine crime novel, MacGregger offers up a tense and dense pacing to the story, with action or plot development on nearly every page. But “The Toast of Broadway” is not as simple as a crime novel, it is also a study of human (and non-human?) character and a statement on world conditions in this, the first quarter of the twenty-first century.
MacGregger leads and the reader dutifully and happily follows through twists and turns that, unlike lesser crime novels and mysteries, cannot be anticipated. But never does he leave his audience stranded or confused – well, at least no more confused than the talented author wants them to be.
The Book: Marked for Murder
The Author: Ian MacGregger
The Story: What begins with a visit from an intriguing woman with a problem quickly becomes a life and death struggle against a criminal cabal. All of Anna’s powers and the strength of her team are needed to overcome an enemy determined to destroy them all.
Enter the world of Omega/Alpha. Meet Anna. A paranormal private detective, psychic and much more. Her confidential assistant, Ian MacGregger. A Scot transplanted from Scotland Yard via Interpol. Then there’s the French electronics expert and bodyguard, the ancient Catalan butler, a cleaver wielding Chinese Chef and a gardener who is older than dirt. Throw in the old man who lives up on the mountain, a panther, grey wolf, a seven-foot long bushmaster and a resident raven. Stir in psychic connections, intuitions and shape shifting and you have one of the most unique places on the planet.
Review: In the world of Omega/Alpha you never know what you will run into. It could be a panther, wolf, seven foot long deadly bushmaster, Anna, the paranormal lady of the house or Ian her confidential assistant. Each has their own unique powers and reasons for being there, above all they take care of each other – after all they’re family.
While at the brownstone in New York Ian has an unexpected visit from a beautiful accounting assistant who ends up brutally murdered after her visit. Ian and Anna take it personally and set out to discover who killed her and why. It’s a non-stop journey of discovery and firepower that will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very end.
A delightful book that I enjoyed very much.
Review: I met Ian MacGregger on twitter, where he seemed totally normal. Then I realized that he is actually the right hand man to Anna, a world famous paranormal private detective. Anna lives very well protected in various locations, much of them unknown to the outside world, with animal “soul mates,” and dangerous people all around her. Anna, can I say, is a person who gets things done.
Loved the story, love Ian’s brilliant imagination (well, I HOPE it’s his imagination!). Great read!