By: J.R. Klein
Publisher: Del Gato
Publication Date: July 24, 2022
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: November 14, 2022
Quintessential word smith, J.R. Klein, spins yet another delightful adventure in his latest book, Times Like These.
Owen Brooks and Jack Carter used to be good friends. However, "...That was before the unfortunate incident between us, which I will get to in a minute..." Owen was the bold and solid guy with enviable good looks and yes, Jack was envious. Albeit handsome, Owen’s strong suit definitely wasn’t confidence when it came to women. Jack, on the other hand, had lots of baggage he brought to their friendship. He was "...abandoned as an infant by my father, whom everyone called Big Hank, and was orphaned at nine when my mother died. I grew up in a school for boys in St. Louis until I was sixteen..." Jack was a go-getter and motivated. At the tender age of nineteen, he traveled the world and by twenty-four, he put himself through college and with a journalism degree in tow, landed his first job as a junior scribe at the Chicago Tribune. It wasn’t until he landed a gig in San Diego at The Sun when Jack met Owen and Chloe and Anna arrived on the scene. Life was good. Jack had Chloe and Owen was devoted to Anna. Sadly, a moment of weakness between Jack and Anna not only created a sticky situation, but it managed to detonate the relationship between Owen and Anna and ultimately cost Owen his Job at The Sun.
Fast-forward seven years later and the only thing Jack knew of Owen from then to now was Owen had been hired by Time magazine. He was traipsing around the Middle East and admittedly, Jack was keeping tabs on him as he often grabbed a copy of Time during those lost years. "...Whenever I saw one of Owen’s photos, I found myself wondering why it was that some people whose path crosses ours stay with us in an absurd and persistent way. You cannot erase the memories of those people from your life. They are there to stay, indelibly seared deep into some neuronal recess forever. What is it about them that is so unique that they leave a residue of their own reality that becomes a part of us, part of our own marrow and gristle?” And just like that, seven years gone by and Jack’s doorbell rings. Imagine that! Owen was on the other side of the door.
J.R. Klein wastes no time at all setting the plot and revving the engine to yet another fabulous read. There is such a natural kinship between Mr. Klein’s mind and the natural gift he has when it comes to strategically planting the right word or phrase in the spot-on location of any given page in one of his books! I am a fan of his work and having read previous titles he’s written, Times Like These does not disappoint. There is a natural and credible ebb and flow of conversation as well as scene set up. There is a dry sarcasm that is signature to Mr. Klein’s style that is contagious and embodies immediate engagement with the story. At the risk of sounding like an over the top ‘fan-girl,’ I have to say Mr. Klein has an enviable and natural-born talent when it comes to penning a must-read. Well done and yes! It’s time for another, please.
Quill says: Times Like These is a fantastic work of fiction that is laugh out loud funny at times as much as it’s introspective in the next moment.
For more information on Times Like These, please visit the publisher's website at: johnrklein.com
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