Strangely Sober by Essa Alroc
Angelica Salvatori, aka Sal, is anything but sober. As a hard partying and even harder living criminal, she considers her status as mastermind not just a job, but a calling. Between running her crew, trying to burn down her bar, and dealing with her occasional breaks with reality, she has enough on her plate. When she finds out that she has a twin she didn’t know about, one that may be in serious danger because of something she did, Sal reacts by doing what any good delusional sociopath would do. She goes on a violence packed, cross country crime spree to find out who’s hunting them and why. (Excerpt from Amazon)
This book is well written for a first novel and concentrates mostly on the characterisation of the many players. The plot at times seems secondary to the crazy people who make up the main family. The issues of violence, mental illness and hallucinations are treated in an amusing and novel way and it is all so far fetched at times you have to laugh. However it is entertaining and the pace is good with many changes in location and lots of action. I ended up liking the most bizarre members of the family like the dope smoking brother Mooki and uncle Mumbai who looked like a refrigerator. The dialogue is colourful and gems such as the time Sal is being asked to let Cole handle a difficult situation she appears to agree then says,
‘Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go shoot our hostage in the face.’ Hilarious in context.
The mystery of the twins Angelica (Sal) and Tia being separated at birth and kept from each other unfolds bit by bit and keeps the story very interesting. They end up trying to go it alone and becoming involved in gun fights, drug lords and human trafficking.
It is all well written and most of the ends are tied up neatly at the conclusion with a drop of romance, but there is still room for a sequel to be written. It’s not literature, it’s well over the top, with lots of violence, but it is fun and keeps you reading.