FLAWED PERFECTION: Is that an absolutely compelling title or what? Well, I’ll tell you this: it certainly hooked me. With that, and having previously read and reviewed a couple of other Ray Spengler novels, I anxiously plunged in. Starting with ominous overtones, it takes a while to get into it because there are lots of seemingly unconnected characters and an intricate, multi-layered plot, but eventually it all knits together nicely. Trust me. Like his other books, this one excels in two areas: dynamite plot and a completely satisfying ending.
With his wife in a seemingly hopeless coma, Glenn Stewart, our protagonist, has a chance meeting with an attractive young woman riding a bicycle. The woman’s current boyfriend is inexorably enmeshed and in bad favor with gangsters so Glenn tries to help but instead, gets romantically entangled. What follows is too complicated to go into in this small space but it includes drug deals gone bad, weird and concurrent paranormal dreams, monsters, mobsters, murder, betrayal, a complicated love triangle, and even some well-written courtroom scenes all tangled up in edge-of-your-seat suspense. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author hits you with an incredible twist. The background medical and courtroom information is well researched and the author’s love of flying is evident in the small aircraft scenes. He also does a nice job with the romantic elements as well as the woman-to-woman dialogue—always difficult forays for a male writer to enter into. The only downside for me was his transitions. I thought they could be a little smoother—allowing the not so cerebral reader (such as myself) to keep the concurrent plots and multiple characters straight. Nonetheless, the ending comes with an unpredictable surprise for the reader (and the bad guy) and the plethora of complicated plot threads are neatly wrapped up. Terrific job!
The book jacket, in addition to giving us a spot-on and economical plot synopsis, tells us FLAWED PERFECTION was actually Ray Spengler’s first manuscript—albeit probably revamped and polished a tad. Like I said, I reviewed and enjoyed his first two published novels: NOT A GOOD TIME TO DIE, and AN ARRESTED HEART. And it bears repeating: like those novels, FLAWED PERFECTION excels in two areas: plot and ending. Retired and living in North Carolina with his wife, Mr. Spengler continues to write. Look for THE SPIDER CODE, a romantic thriller, to be released later this year.

Good Read, reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews

Published by: Infinity Publishing ©2011
ISBN 0-7414-6768-2 Trade paperback,
350 pages
U.S. $18.95
October 2011
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