What's In A Book? Everything Imaginable! The Plum Tree Book Forum
Joe Cafe by J.D. Mader
Publisher: Lockjaw Publishing
Hard-edged Murder! Thrilling new author!
This is one book that’s so thrilling you won’t be able to put it down…even after reading it, the characters leave indelible marks on your minds. Author J.D. Mader does such a superb job probing the psychiatric depths of his characters’ minds, you end up liking them all on one level or another; even the murderer has his good points. Unbelievable!
The story begins on a quiet night at Joe Café in the small town of Millersville when in off the street walks evil incarnate in the form of Chet Mooney. Fortunately–but not for them–there are only two customers and the diner’s owners on the premises when Mooney’s violence erupts, ending in the worst carnage the town has ever seen. The night ends in a terrifying bloodbath that effects people for miles around…
By the time local police arrive, Mooney is heading out of state…long gone, taking the entire safe with him.
Mader starts Joe Café off with a bang that grips his readers with sticky tentacles of fear that creep up and down one’s spine, refusing to release their hold until justice is done. But will the killer ever be caught? How does the local law enforcer Michael Butler–who has never handled a murder before–take it? What happens to him when he gets nowhere with the case? Scenes at the lake with Michael being introspective turn out to be the tranquil breaks that the story needs from time to time. (Mader is great at setting the proper pace with perfect timing.)
It looks like a cold case to Mooney, so he feels safe in wreaking more havoc. True to his evil nature, he kidnaps a young stripper named Sara and begins a long journey, from one cheap motel to another, always one step ahead of the law. He plans to kill Sara but keeps hesitating. Why does he delay? Is it because she cleverly manipulates him, managing to save herself by keeping a clear head, reasoning with her kidnapper and playing along with him? Or is he too hardened for that to work on him?
What happens when he buys Sara a surprise gift? How does she react? The book’s big question is: Does help arrive before Mooney murders Sara?
Toss into this mix the woman’s boyfriend, Dogan, who’s out of his mind with worry, his friend “Jimmy the Cat” and an unlikely cast of other broken characters and you have a story personifying good versus evil; a story wherein everyone must stop to examine his true nature as each struggles to find his way in their changing world.
And who is Frankie and how does he fit in? And the Mafia hit-men…? Questions and more questions…
The surprise ending is where Mader’s brilliance truly emerges, but you’ll have to read for yourself to find out who is the true hero of this story. I have my opinion, but yours may be different. A very satisfying ending of a thoroughly engrossing read…
I highly recommend this powerful, gripping crime novel, and look forward to reading Mader’s latest work The Biker (A Matt Stark Novel) .
Reviewer: Betty Dravis
Betty Dravis is an award-winning newspaper publisher and career journalist/cable TV talk show host. She’s a celebrity interviewer and award-winning author (and co-author) of seven books. This devoted mother and grandmother is an honorary Kentucky Colonet, in two Whos’ Who books, San Jose Woman of Achievement, etc. Her most recent awards are: Best Paranormal/Horror (with co-author Barbara Watkins); she recently placed #18 in Fourth Annual Shorty Awards and in Top 20 of 2011 Best Women’s Fiction. Visit Betty at her website, Facebook page, and Amazon author page.