Modern Suburbia by Chris Merlo

I believe most can relate to the feel of the suburban façade, great on the outside with the dirt and disharmony existing quietly below the surface awaiting discovery. Chris Merlo manages to bring that sense of dichotomy and hidden agendas forward in this story.  While there were many positives in this story: descriptions were great, the twists and turns were cleverly introduced and always surprising, and the pacing was reasonably consistent throughout.

From those positives, there were some not so wonderful, yet easily rectified with experience and editing, issues to address.  Merlo has an interesting style and can manipulate his words in descriptive passages that are fun and easy to imagine.  He used this skill to great effect in drawing his characters: primary and secondary characters are well defined and described; they simply lack that extra oomph that would give them depth.  Far more energy was used to describe and tell, with less energy given to show, a simple maxim but a skill that is often gained with experience and effort.  Additionally, an editor should have been used to clear up the grammatical and spelling errors that were liberally sprinkled throughout the text.

Pacing was, as I have mentioned, consistent after a slower start to establish place and people.  While it wasn’t a breakneck rush to the end, the story did keep my interest, as I tried to work out the next twist to no avail.  This is a promising work from a debut author, one with the skills to go far.

Modern Suburbia by Chris Merlo

Title: Modern Suburbia
Author: Chris Merlo
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Self-Published
Source: Author
Pages: 201
Rated: three-stars
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Set in the fictional suburb of Teal County, the populace would say it's a prime community of modern sophistication and wealth, filled with every form of entertaining consumption one could desire. Expenses were not spared in producing this lavish and clean looking suburb, along with creating an effective and expanded judicial and policing system and a wide and over reaching corporate industry.

But not everyone finds Teal County to be so fantastic. A young man by the name of Nathan Grant, who has a bitter love-hate relationship with the County he was raised in, is heading back after a long absence in hopes of finishing one last job, part of which includes transporting a very valuable item. The crudeness of the County officials had ironically been both the inspiration for his plans, and now was an abrupt interruption to them, as his freedom in the County is cut short just as soon as he arrives. From there, the story's woven tapestries begins to unravel, and we find foes of Nathan with a set of their own agendas in mind, as well as friends willing to help. With the aid of his friends, Emily, a highly attractive party going drug user, and Aiden, a capable well to do computer genius, among others, Nathan must prevail through the hurdles made by County authorities that stand in his way as he tries to complete a task for Martin Benson, a sleazy corporate high roller. Little does Benson know, Nathan has a few alternative plans of his own for Benson, and little does Nathan know, he might be getting into more hot water than he bargained for. After it is revealed Benson has ties with Falco Dietrich, a German terrorist, along with a handful of his cohorts, and it would also seem the highly effective FBI team of Agent's Simms and Harris has secretly had an eye on Benson for quite some time, several culminating moments of action and deceptions determine the fates of these characters. All while in the midst of negotiating through the complexities of the modern suburb of Teal County.

But even when cornered, Nathan proves his wide knowledge of the town he grew up in can give him a tricky advantage, and that he may have more than one motive for why he chose to target Benson in his plans

A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Chris Merlo

I am an eclectic and athletic 33 year old suburbanite, born and raised, which might hint as to the inspiration for my book, and University student. I love to practice the deliciousness of all that the arts has to offer, which includes the art of writing. I have written poems, essays, speeches, songs, short stories, and now my first novel. I'm also a social nut, both cyber and in person, but I prefer the live aspect. As a writer, it would be phenomenal for me if my book cultivated an audience and I could craft further stories already stored in my noggin.