Desmond Carmichael is an ordinary everyday single father struggling to make ends meet and bring up his young son in a happy, healthy, safe environment. Tortured by the pain of his wife Sandy’s untimely demise, it seems as though her memory exudes through everything. Now a very real, and undeniable threat has presented itself in the form of a mysterious stalker with cryptic clues suggesting their business is anything but over. Will Desmond be able to overcome the odds and shelter his son from the evil that lurks around each corner or will he simply be a hapless victim caught in Steel Breeze?
For the general reading population to fully appreciate exactly how much blood, sweat and tears go into any given novel I believe one must understand the tremendous pressure authors can be under. It’s a marvelous, magical thing in order to realize your dream of being published and to acquire a faithful following shortly thereafter. Douglas Wynne was the co-recipient of the 2012 annual Journalstone’s novel publishing contest with his debut endeavor The Devil of Echo Lake (tied with Patrick Freivald’s Twice Shy). Having achieved tremendous success with his premier, his creativity would now become scrutiny under the critics’ eyes. Once a creative artist has made their initial impact the odds are seemingly stacked against them to produce a follow up with just as much compelling effect with its predecessor.
Steel Breeze manages to achieve this and slashes any reservations into oblivion. This pulse pounding action combines martial arts, suspense and horror keeping the reader ravenous and insatiable for blood, fixated on what happens next.
The delicate balance of action, dialogue and exposition keeps the story moving at an exciting pace. We get a sneak peek into Desmond Carmichael’s tragedy while empathizing with his character, longing to discover more. His pursuit of happiness is admirable while life continues to throw curve balls into his well-being. This makes him an instant, certifiable individual we can relate to.
The interpersonal relationship between father and son is endearing. As a single father, widowed and at times clueless, his flaws are apparent making this story an easily accessible read unto the audience. We want Desmond to succeed and overcome the odds, perhaps living vicariously through his actions where many of us may have failed.
Wynne’s extensive knowledge of martial arts and Japanese culture is mesmerizing breathing a life unto its own within the tale. One cannot help but get caught up in the mystique of the elusive antagonists and ponder of what motivates them. We peel back the layers of psychological barriers in search of a common ground to understand what makes them tick.
The motives of the antagonists are unique and certainly not run of the mill. We’re invited into some back drop of their culture dating back as far as a generation or two. Values and morals are a welcome contrast which heightens the level of suspense even further.
Upon reaching the final act one cannot deny the reminiscence of a mish-mash spaghetti western, kung-fu, grindhouse revenge expose that will keep readers glued to the page.
Douglas Wynne’s second endeavor is a bona fide thrill ride that will not only silence critics but will keep them begging for more. Steel Breeze is an unrelenting roller coaster ride proving this highly gifted author has the intestinal fortitude to play with the major best sellers and render a few slain along the way. My best piece of advice to readers out there: clear off your shelves and make a trip to your local second hand book shop with donations in tow and make plenty of room for the spell binding story telling prowess of one Douglas Wynne.
Book Review: Steel Breeze – Author Douglas Wynne