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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Best of Evil by Eric Wilson

Aramis Black and his brother, Johnny Ray, have moved to the outskirts of Nashville to start a new life away from their home in Oregon. Aramis has opened up his own coffee shop while Johnny Ray pursues his country music dreams. Aramis's world is changed when he witnessed a murder right in his own shop. While the police close his shop for investigation, Johnny Ray leads him on a wild goose chase concerning gold, Meriwether Lewis, and their mother. When the investigation of the murder is over, Aramis discovers that Johnny Ray has signed him up for a new reality show called The Best of Evil...When Good Things Happen to Bad People because Johnny wants him to reconcile with a family member in his past. With all of this coming down on Aramis at the same time, he finds himself once again calling upon the name of God for help.

Eric Wilson abandons his supernatural roots with The Best of Evil and creates a realistic mystery. Eric has a lot of deep-seeded originality, but his knack for fixing things gets in the way of true greatness.

As usual, the characters are superb. Aramis, Johnny Ray, and several others are imperfect with personalities, something Eric Wilson learned early on and has continued since. Good characters are key in fiction, especially mysteries and suspense because authors can get bogged down in action and forget about giving attention to their characters. Eric Wilson has never done this, making his books stand out of their genre.

The Best of Evil

can not be considered suspense because it is based on normal, everyday life. There are many subplots contained in Aramis's life, and this is realistic because everybody has a lot going on. As usual, one of these is a romantic subplot, but Eric finds a way to end it very originally, making it the highlight of the book. The murder subplot ended next to perfectly, as did Johnny Ray's music subplot. These two subplots are the things that tie this book down from true greatness. had these been eliminated, we could have been looking at a five star book.

Nevertheless, Eric Wilson has proved to be one of the most prolific authors on the market with his deep-seated originality. I expect more great things out of him in the future.

4 stars

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