Frank Silver is apartment-bound and suffering from severe agoraphobia. He spends much of his time observing the world outside his apartment, in particular, the Kabbalah Institute across the street. One Friday night he observes an attractive woman entering the institute, a place that is supposed to be closed at that time, and denied to women at all times. When he sees a second women enter the place a week later, and then learns that a prostitute’s body has been found in the sewer drain nearby, his suspicions are aroused—he knows that something evil is taking place, but he finds it difficult to convince an overworked homicide detective of that.
His persistence, and some amateur sleuthing on the part of his housekeeper, finally gets the detective to visit the institute, an action that will soon have dire consequences for Silver. Joseph Goodman, an eccentric Talmudic scholar with macabre leanings, had been evicted from the institute, but had secreted himself in one of its unused spaces, from which he pursued his deadly quest. When he inadvertently learns that Silver’s watching has threatened his haven, he vows revenge, and takes it by kidnapping Silver’s recently acquired girlfriend.
The Watcher Within by William Appel is noir fiction at its finest. Tension and suspense begins on the first page, and builds increasingly to an explosive climax as Silver must overcome his phobia in order to save his girlfriend’s life.
This one’s a typical Appel page-turner that, even though you know the killer’s identity from the start, has you wondering how it will turn out. The obstacles faced by the hero seem insurmountable, and on several occasions, you’re sure he’s hit a brick wall—then, he hits back. This is a book that takes the reader deep into the darkest depths of human depravity, a journey that will leave you breathless.
I give it five stars.
Manhattan’s finest are puzzled by eight killings. Though the victims are seemingly unrelated victims, chief of detectives, Bill Dacey, is convinced they are the work of a single killer. He seeks the assistance of noted criminologist Kate Berman and her ME husband, Josh, to track down the killer, a wealthy, smart, but vicious killer.
Whisper He Might Hear You by William Appel is a chilling thriller that follows this indomitable trio as they race against time to stop a demented serial killer before the list of victims grows any longer.
Even though the killer’s identity is known from the early chapters, the author still manages to keep the reader guessing until the very end.
I give it five stars.
Herpetologist, Ava Rush, living and working with the Indians of the Amazon, looking for medicinal cures from cocoa and snake venom, stumbles across the drug operation run by the vicious drug lord known as the White Jaguar. When she is killed, her brother, Richard, a stock broker, travels to the Amazon to avenge her death. With the help Nicole, an American Olympian whose severe arthritis Ava cured, he and the tribes who adored his sister wage war on the White Jaguar.
White Jaguar by William Appel is a strong story, contrasting the endangered life of the indigenous people with the greedy lifestyle of Westerners; some come to bring civilization to the savages, and others merely looking for profit. The Indians are, unlike many stories of this ilk, not shown as innocents, but fully-fleshed cultural entities willing to risk all to preserve their way of life, and the non-Indian characters span the spectrum, making for full-bodied fiction that will keep you flipping pages.
I give this book four stars.