Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Salt City: Review

From Goodreads:
Syracuse, upstate New York. The "Salt City." An apartment building on the edge of The Projects – and Anne Malloy dies, thrown out of a sixth floor window, an apparent suicide, while Mark Cornell watches. Mark was there for a purpose, his part‐time gig being to snap incriminating photos for a divorce lawyer who happily takes cases over the phone. Watching the apartment was Mark’s assignment.

But this assignment has a problem: Mark learns that "Anne Malloy" had died months before, leaving behind a grieving husband. So who is this woman?

It’s 1976, before cellphones, internet, and all the easy ways of satisfying curiosities, so Mark Cornell's search for a name to give the victim makes him a foot soldier slogging personally through the facts. And, as those facts pile up, Mark discovers that he really shouldn't be playing detective, stumbling across the thin line between commerce and crime. 

My Review:
This was an awesome book to read, from the way of thinking Mark had, to the mystery of what the heck was going on, and yeah, it was just engrossing, especially since the show Unforgettable, they're from Syracuse, so that was very neat to read, too!

Mark was a real person, he had a side job, was going to school, and when a supposedly routine job goes down the drain when "Anne" comes out the window. Combined with his wit, moral compass (for the most part) and paltry detective skills in observing, he slowly chips at the mystery, and yeah, that was a lot of fun to read, lots of action, lots of thinking, and just overall, fun to read!

The mystery, well, I didn't see it coming, which is why they're called mysterious, and then all the hints and clues that were nothing, well, they turned out to be something, which is totally a face-palm, it's a mystery, of course the little details come to bite the butt!

And together, the characters and the plot, and the very distinct setting, and the very distinct voice, well, what could go wrong? Well, how about the fact that for the characters, the mystery is a lot deeper then Mark thinks, until he's head over high heels trouble!

This was just a fantastic book, it was very enjoyable, and yeah, you guys should check it out, since it's really good!

Author: Robert C. Fleet
Read: June 3rd, 2012
Source Innovative Online Blog Tours Review Copy
Reason Why: It sounded really good!
Publisher: Red Frog Publishing
Published: March 23rd 2012
5/5 Hearts
4/5 Books
4/5 Stars

Robert Fleet took a youth spent in Texas and Missouri, combined it with a university education in New York and Europe, and found himself spending the first three years of his professional career during the late 1970s as an actor-writer with the Chinese Zignal Theater Ensemble (a satellite group of La Mama E.T.C.). A colorful blend of kung-fu spectacle and lyrical Peking Opera, the group supported itself by producing summer stock musicals in New York parks. Europe lured him back, however, and a summer at Jerzy Grotowski's Teatr Laboratorium lengthened into several return trips to the country - and the writing of a serialized crime novel, "Salt City", for the purpose of obtaining a visa to stay in the then-Communist country to marry his collaborator-wife, Alina Szpak.

In America during this same period, Robert's theater activities in New York included directing anything from children's theater (40 of his own short pieces) to Yiddish historical dramas, Irish repertory, full-fledged spectacles and his own experimental performances (Kyrie, in Latin, French and Gaelic; the verse drama Pas de Deux, adapted from a Yukio Mishima story).

Since 1980, Robert Fleet turned his talents to film and video, directing-acting in the cable-syndicated, "Unveiling". "Script doctoring" a horror flick and a documentary simultaneously led to production of his own feature script, "Brothers of the Wilderness", for which he also performed and directed various scenes.

Adapting his "magic realism" novel, "White Horse/Dark Dragon" (Putnam/Berkley) into the screenplay for the feature film "White Dragon" (aka "Legend of the White Horse"), Robert Fleet co-produced the production as well, personally negotiating the agreement with the Polish film industry, the first U.S.-Poland feature film co-production, distributed by CBS Theatrical Productions.

Robert Fleet (in development with his own production company, Legend Productions, recently renamed Legend 44) has developed or revised several screenplays on commission for other producers and optioned-out several of his own written. A year spent in Saudi Arabia resulted in his writing and/or directing 22 programs there - plus the novel, "The Empty Border: the unexpurgated adventures of Abdullah O'Rourke & the Jinn as related to the Author by Bartolomeo Wolodojowski." With Legend, Robert has written and directed several industrials and commercials for domestic and international presentation. He has also written a number of non-fiction technical books - "God's punishment for not taking math or science in college."

Meanwhile, an occasional writing feat of wonder has resulted in journalistic articles published in the Los Angeles Times, Commonweal Magazine, and other venues. He has translated or adapted several plays from the Chinese, Polish, Russian and French originals. His 1994 novel, "Last Mountain"  (Putnam/ Berkley), was nominated for an American Library Association award. He then went on to complete his next novel, "Heart of Stone", concerning a black GI's encounter with Holocaust consequences reverberating in 1972 West Germany. His collection of poetry, "Lyrics & Lies", has undergone a "shakedown cruise" via performance art presentations at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

In 1992, Robert swept up the opportunity to travel to Moscow, Russia. Teaming up with Moscow's Totchka International, Robert co-created and co-starred in the documentary, "Through my Ex-Enemies Eyes." A look at the sociopolitical changes in the recently post-Communist Russia and America.

Upon Returning from Russia, Robert felt the urge to return to the stage. Teaming up with, among others, talented artists from the San Francisco based, American Conservatory Theater, Robert Fleet appeared as an actor in the Dramalogue award-winning Equity productions of "LULU, A Play with Music" and "Cabaret", and in the 1998 production of "Pilate" at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

In response to the Los Angeles Riots, he began a collaboration with the Korean-American Society of Heritage Performers: adapting six hours of Contemporary Korean Short Stories for presentation on KCRW-FM and NPR syndication, as dramaturg and director of the "Living Words" reading series presented via the Los Angeles Public Library, writing or co-writing "Tomorrow In The Promised Land", "Behind The Walls" ("that pointed nowhere familiar from Orwell, Koestler, Pinter, Dorfman...a Godot-like romp" BackStage), and "Don Juan" ("the myth of the swashbuckling hero is successfully turned inside out, reminiscent of Cyrano" L.A. Weekly). He co-directed, with Alina Szpak, the Society of Heritage Performers production of "Have You Heard." One of only three American productions invited to the "Theater of Nations/International Theater Institute Festival'97" in Seoul, Korea.

After returning from Korea in 1997, Robert Fleet completed directing and co-writing the independent feature film, "The Friends of Harry", a black political thriller. An active member of the PEN Freedom to Write committee, he developed the nonfiction dramatic feature script for "To Die For Words", about comedy writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was tragically murdered-executed by the Nigerian government for opposing the multinational oil companies despoiling his country. Currently optioned by Windham Films, the Kan Saro-Wiwa story has Charles Burnett ("To Sleep With Anger") signed on to direct.

In 1998, he and his wife, Alina, were invited to Cal Arts University in Valencia as Guest Artists where they staged Robert's "Don Juan" with the graduate and undergraduate students.

In the summer of 1999, Robert directed and co-adapted (with his son, Stephan Szpak-Fleet) his novel "Last Mountain" into a screenplay for immediate production. Always an advocate and pioneer of modern technology, Robert sought after the latest technical movie advances. This brought him to use Sony HD - high definition. It was a controversial decision at the time - "Last Mountain" is credited by several technical magazines and the Berlin Film Museum as the "1st independent feature shot on HD" - although HD is a commonplace medium now, used for such films as "Star Wars, Episode II","Collateral", and every recent Robert Rodriquez film. "Last Mountain" has now played and will continue to play in several major film festivals throughout the world.

Life goes on. Robert's screenplay for the noir short, The First Person was an official selection at the 2004 MethodFest and several others, ending up at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner, and was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Fade-In Awards, Best Screenplay category. His 2007 Polish language collaboration with Alina Szpak, "Zaufanie" (Trust) has just begun its festival tour with an appearance at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

In large form, Robert currently has several new feature screenplays optioned - with "My Best Friend's Deception" (a black comedy-murder mystery based on his play of the same title) going into production in the fall of 2008 by Cinegraphe Pictures in Canada.

He also manages to keep acting, having recently performed in 24 short films in 2007 alone -- and just completed the lead in "PLAYER," an independent drama feature currently in post production. The trailer for this feature is found at www.player.legend44.com.

To this day, Robert continues working in all angles of the performing, literary, and multimedia arts. Somehow, he also finds the time to chop down branches in the back yard when the tree gets too big; play with his two insanely cute and obnoxious dogs, Bertolt Brecht, and Alexander Pushkin; work on exciting new ideas with his wife, Alina Szpak; and be a really cool dad to his son, Stephan Szpak-Fleet. (disclaimer: This last paragraph was contractually required.)

Contact and Buy AKA Links:

Stops on the Tour:
June 3rd:
Sapphyria's Book Reviews - First Chapters
My World - Bio/Book Synopsis and review

June 5th:
Words I Write Crazy - Bio/Book Synopsis and review

June 6th:
Red Headed Bookworm - Bio/Book Synopsis and interview

June 7th
Ramblings of an Amateur Writer - Bio/Book Synopsis and interview
Bibliophilia, Please - Guest post and Bio/Book Synopsis

June 8th:
BookSpark - First Chapters

June 9th:
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Bio/Book Synopsis and  Guest Post

June 10th:
Reviewing Shelf - Bio/Book Synopsis and Review

June 12th:
Natalie-Nicole Bates  - Bio/Book Synopsis and  Guest Post
Books, Books, and More Books - Bio/Book Synopsis and  Review

June 13th:
The Bunnies Review - Bio/Book Synopsis and interview

June 14th:
Live To Read ~Krystal - Bio/Book Synopsis and First Chapters
¡Miraculous! - Bio/Book Synopsis and Review

June 15th:
TBR  - Bio/Book Synopsis and First Chapters
Lissette E. Manning - Bio/Book Synopsis and Review

June 16th:
THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK - Bio/Book Synopsis and Review
Adventures of Frugal Mom - Bio/Book Synopsis and Review

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