Book Review: Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City

Book Review: Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City

Jan 4, 2016


I’ve always had a soft spot for tales of revenge. I love seeing a character get what they deserve after witnessing them do something heinous. It’s a very satisfying experience. Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City is the latest to tackle this subject matter.

Written by Amy Grech, Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City begins with young Dr. Trevor Braeburn. A Ophthalmologist living in New York City. After a long day of work, he heads to a bar looking for fun and relaxation. He quickly meets a young woman named Ruby. There is a instant attraction as their conversation grows into sexual lust. Once they decide to go back to Ruby’s apartment, things take a dark turn. Also included with this Novella are four short stories that vary in length.

Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City plays out much like a exploitation movie. Odd characters, nudity, sex and plenty of the red stuff. I could see it being translated into a film easily.

Grech has a talent for descriptive writing. The first few pages are visual eye candy. Detailed and vivid descriptions of New York City and the people that live in it. I could almost hear the sounds and see the lights as Grech described it. She is very poetic in her writing, especially when it comes to the first scene of violence. It was raw, hauntingly, and beautiful.

As great as the descriptions and writing were, I felt that the characters were rather weak. There was a small amount of character development but not enough to actually care about anyone. The interactions among characters at times was dull and unrealistic. A 911 operator would not ask someone to touch a dead body to see if suicide was committed. I also think the ending was rather abrupt. When revenge was served, it was not as satisfying as it should have been.

The short stories are pretty weak compared to the Novella. They presented some interesting and original ideas but for the most part were not executed as well. I will say the story Hoi Polloi Cannoli is worth a read.

There is no doubt Amy Grech is a talented author. You can tell she is having fun with what she writes. Grech has a very strong visual sense and some very interesting ideas. In order to fully engage a reader she really needs to get a better grasp on her characters. Both in their development and interactions with one another.