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978-1649902726

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HORATIO’S PROMISE

By D. Clark Gill

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IR Rating:
4.2
HORATIO’S PROMISE has a rich setting, an interesting and compelling protagonist, and layer upon layer of conflict, making it the perfect mystery novel for those who appreciate flawed characters and small town dramas.
IR Approved

The year is 1950 and Alfred Spellman is spending another summer teaching music lessons in the small town of Horatio’s Promise, Arkansas. What he doesn’t expect is to be caught up in the search for his landlady’s missing husband, and then to be thrust into the middle of a polio outbreak. If Alfred wants to solve his landlady’s mystery, he’ll have to turn his attention towards the idyllic town’s dark side—even if that means ruining his love for the place in the process.

The descriptions of setting in HORATIO’S PROMISE are rich with small town charm and summer nostalgia. When Alfred goes for his daily walk, the smell of apricots is in the air and his eye is drawn to the vibrant colors of his adopted hometown. The novel is peppered with mentions of communal swimming holes, small town scandals, and moments where Alfred can almost taste “the sweetness of childhood”. Of course, a novel with a strong setting needs a strong protagonist. Alfred is the son of a con man, with a knack for “exploring the undercurrents of an individual”. He’s also perpetually lonely; he’s both part of the community in Horatio’s Promise and yet also outside of it. Alfred loves mystery novels and is filled with purpose when handed a real-life investigation—but confrontation also makes him queasy. He’s not a hard-boiled detective; he’s a small man with a twisted foot, a desperate need for intimacy, and a fear of being ostracized or embarrassed. Alfred’s life is filled with conflicts, which makes for a novel that’s rich in drama. He goes toe to toe with his romantic rival and courts disaster by working with his landlady’s son, whose feminine inclinations brand him as an outcast. Alfred also suffers from the grief of losing his brother and the fear that he might be on track for an early death. As more and more of Alfred’s students succumb to sickness, the town’s polio outbreak adds tension to the story. There are many layers to the conflicts in HORATIO’S PROMISE, which keeps the story engaging from start to finish.

HORATIO’S PROMISE has a rich setting, an interesting and compelling protagonist, and layer upon layer of conflict, making it the perfect mystery novel for those who appreciate flawed characters and small town dramas.

~Stephani Hren for IndieReader

Publisher:
N/A

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1649902726

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
N/A

HORATIO’S PROMISE

By D. Clark Gill

In D. Clark Gill’s HORATIO’S PROMISE, Alfred Spellman spends his summers where he’d like to settle down — teaching music in the charming town of the book’s title. But in the summer of 1950, he finds his idyll upended as he concurrently sleuths the 15-year disappearance of his landlady’s husband and the origins of a disturbing polio epidemic that seems to be targeting his students. The character-driven story shares some haunting parallels to 2020’s pandemic, with asymptomatic carriers potentially spinning a viral illness out of control, but also touches on more modern themes of gender acceptance, mob mentality, and personal sacrifice in a touching tale about finding one’s place in the world.