Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Swallowtail, Sheri Meshal, 2012, Kindle e-book, B009913Q98

This novel is about a family experiencing an incredible heartbreak. It's also about love, family bonds and the human spirit.

Claire is an employee at the main office of a Chicago bank. Walking in to work one day, the place is in an uproar. Julia, Claire's office neighbor, has absconded with 3 million dollars of the bank's money. Claire is able to convince her bosses that she knew nothing about it. A few days later, on Halloween, Claire is on a busy road attempting to save a wayward kitten, when she is hit by a car and killed instantly.

Claire had no ID on her, so she is treated as a Jane Doe at the morgue. There is also nothing for the police to tell her husband, Paul, and Anna and Em, her two daughters. That is, on those days, when Paul is not being questioned about her disappearance. Claire is watching everything from the astral plane (for lack of a better term). As her family goes through a reasonable version of Hell, Claire makes a number of attempts to let them know that she is still with them.

No one wants to admit that Claire is not coming back, but, after several months with no news, hope is gone. Christmas comes, and Paul, along with friends of the family, wants it to be as normal as possible (which does not happen). Claire meets Julia, who is now living in Brazil, on the astral plane. It seems that Claire and Julia are much more than just office neighbors. Does Julia get what is coming to her? Does Claire let bygones be bygones? Is Claire's body ever reunited with her family to provide them with closure?

Wow. Need I say more? This may sound like a silly cliche, but do whatever is necessary, and legal, to get a copy of this book. This is a wonderful piece of storytelling, and it is very highly recommended.

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