“Crime does not pay as well as politics” – Alfred Newman
If you have switched on your television anytime in your lifetime or ever picked up a magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office or even picked up a book at the library where you went in to use the loo; you would have come across some form of fictional work and sometimes even non fictional work which can give its fictional cousins a run for its money discussing the latest crime or a glorification of a criminal event. Television ratings and internet forums of everything cultural all say that there has always existed a keen interest in horrors of crime, and action between criminals & police. Some of the most highly rated television shows and books deal with detailed & exaggerated violence. Psychologists claim that it is human nature for a person to be fascinated and intrigued by the “wrongs of society.” Whether those wrongs are death, cruel and unusual punishment, or crime, they all attract seem to attract large audiences.
In author Joseph M Rinaldo’s latest novel, ‘Valerie’s Retreat’, Valerie is a middle-aged woman, leading an average life as a head teller at a bank who finally finds her soul-mate, Franco. But this sudden romance comes to a grinding halt the day Valerie’s boss starts harassing her and Franco is accused of stealing a rare artifice by the FBI. Strange circumstances have them on the run from everything back home. They then land up in Peru to live out the rest of their lives happily; well more or less.
Joseph it seems probably had a film representation of his story in mind when he wrote this book, because the more you read it, the more vibe you get that you are reading a movie script. The action takes place mostly in dialogues between the characters and they move in and out of scenes in short and precise movements not usually found in novels. But this is necessarily not a bad thing as it is still a very engaging read and has some very relatable characters in it. One must also appreciate the author for taking what must have been extremely time consuming research into building the background for the professions shown in the book, be it both about banking or about archaeology.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a casual read, which is a part thriller and part romance novel.
Paperback: 404 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 7, 2013)