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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

04/21/2024 Recent Reads & Reviews

Two reviews this week for recent reads, these are older but were great reads and I wanted to give them a bit more exposure.



Descent of a Broken Man

By Ashon Ruffins

In his debut novel, Ruffins pens a multi-layered story of mental illness and the ever-present battle of good vs evil. The story follows a heavily depressed teacher named James Corbin, who struggles with multiple inner demons including broken dreams, a failed marriage, anxiety, and depression as he tries to determine a way to cope, to find a way through his darkness.

Detective Nola Maor is a well-written, strong female character struggling with her own crisis of faith, and a desire to prove herself in the male-driven world of police work. A rash of murders sends this story into a high-octane race against time, as the story reveals just how dark it can get for all involved. 

Ruffins brings to light many issues surrounding mental illness, how it is perceived, and the effects of letting it go untreated, all while blending it into one astonishingly captivating tale.

4 stars.

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Please, Don’t Tap on the Glass

By Mike Lombardo

I found this collection to be refreshing, highly original, and enjoyable overall.  Everything from the anxiety-ridden but deeply heartfelt introduction right down to the last page of text, Lombardo gives us his life experiences on the page, fictionalized and horrified, of course.

There is humanity in these pages above all else, real emotions and dialogue, well-placed humor when warranted, all penned in some of the most creative short stories that I have read this year. 

I will not pick a favorite here, as I would be hard-pressed to do so, but I will say that I strongly recommend that you add this to your TBR, immediately, if not sooner!

4.5 Stars.

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