Oh God ... she'd given birth to a monster.
Author: Kimberly Shursen
Publication: April 1, 2015
Jacket design: Kimberly Shursen
Author photographer: her son Anthony Damrow
Reviewed for Kimberly Shursen because I dug her novel Lottery
With an eagerness not known to mankind, this explosive second book in Kimberly Shursen's Lottery series left me craving for the third and final book, Caleb's Lot, which is currently available and getting rave reviews.
This on-going tale of Caleb O'Toole's legacy and the hell he puts anyone who would give a rat's ass about him, through a devastating life they thought they would only see on the news -
Welcome Sammy, on the behalf of all of us psychological thriller readers, you are truly following in your father's footsteps.
Sammy Masterson, a 6 year-old sociopath straight from one of a mother's worst nightmares brings to us Readers, an enjoyment of a superb thrill.
Please fasten your seat-belt folks, this second book of Kimberly Shursen's Lottery series exceeds all expectations I had from what I took away from Lottery.
Son Of Caleb opens with Sammy's father, Caleb O'Toole, on an agenda reclaiming what he lost 6 years ago - his family. Leaving a string of murders behind him, he staged his own death and fled to Mexico. Living in the comfort of a lifestyle only available to those of us who has had the pleasure of winning the lottery under a dead man's name to boot, has come to the realization he wants his family back with no strings attached.
Jack Weber, the poor soul who had the unfortunate luck of not being able to cash in that lucky lottery ticket due to a dire inebriated event (calamity?) sits in Caleb's Citation Mustang jet en route to San Fransisco. Asks Caleb how in the world is he going to get his family back?
Caleb's ex-wife Ling and their children - now you can imagine after a bit of time you move on with your lives. After all, daddy's gone. Ling with hers, Ahna, even Sammy does, and like all kids, coming up with imaginary friends and all. You know how kids are.
Arriving in San Fran, Caleb gets his rental and heads straight to the bar of the hotel he is staying at, the Ritz-Carlton in Nob Hill, and swoops bartender Zoe off her feet as Nick Malone. Becoming a main character, Zoe and Nick meld into twists and turn of events that rush the flow of the story into a thirst for the end. No doubt/propaganda/etc./etc. there, this is a really good read. Zoe turns into a great character for me with her agenda's and purpose.
After Caleb learns Ling did move on and her husband, Tige, is now in the picture revenge pumps as he listens to himself and he hears alright. Hell, Weber said, "Karma bites".
Infiltrating the school system and befriending Sammy as Nick Malone, hell, Caleb had the inside scoop of the household he wants to reclaim. And he learns of Teddy. And Sammy learns it's okay to have imaginary friends. (Best to talk in private, you won't get bothered as much.) Mondays were Nick's scheduled time to volunteer according to school calendar and hence their days to meet. And concoct.
After worming himself into volunteering at Sammy's school is where the tale took off for me. Seemed like Nick was lining all his ducks up with nothing or no one being able to stop him. Kimberly Shursen exercises her ability to tell a tale with all the right content a psychological read should possess.
The sub-plots start to explode, the new characters are defined, the tension of the unexpected the characters feel radiate off the pages. The suspense is palpable and absolutely rich for my tastes. Yeah, this is where Son Of Caleb took off for me and was pleased when I noticed I still had plenty of pages to read.
Some of those scenes were descriptive to the point where I really felt among it all. In Hawaii I could picture the scenes quite well. Describing Sammy in tow throughout the airports were very enjoyable as a reader and clearly I could sense the cars scenes with Caleb and, where he might be growing a conscience or ?, huh. We'll see.
Sammy reminded me of Damien from The Omen. This kid's gonna get what he wants and he's learning to hone his skills. Especially with approval from Nick assuring it is good to have friends. Kimberly draws Sammy's character in this book as a child in need. Love he has; even from Ahna. But, boy this boy will get you worried for others. Evilicious character.
And Zoe's agenda's ... Oh hell no.
Caleb's Lot has to be on point to finish this horrific trilogy.
The story moves with energy and as you come close to finishing, Kimberly wraps things up nicely with anticipatory ending chapters alluding to a fantastic read in Caleb's Lot.
If Caleb's Lot is anything like Son Of Caleb, this trilogy rocks. Kimberly Shursen's writing has become an enjoyment one should indulge in and curiosity has definitely inhabited itself in me to read her other novels: Itsy Bitsy Spider and Hush. Those gotta be good reads.
You could read this as a stand-alone, Kimberly does a great job filling in the back-story in the beginning of this read but why? it's a trilogy - start with Lottery and fill in the back-story with color.
Here's where you can get your fingers on Son of Caleb: Lottery series: Book 2:
- Amazon ~ Kindle $4.99 ~ Paperback $14.50 USD
- Barnes & Noble ~ Paperback $14.50 USD
- IndieBound ~ Support your local book stores
About the author ~
Thriller/mystery writer, Kimberly Shursen, began making up stories in grade school. Growing up in a small town in Iowa with a population of 2,000, imagination not only became her entertainment, but a passion.
After graduating from a private college with a BA in education, Shursen began writing a musical. Five years later she presented the music, book, and lyrics to private investors. The play premiered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later opened in Sweden.
Eden, Shursen's second full-blown musical was also produced by investors, catching rave reviews.
Knowing her passion had always been to be an author, Ms. Shursen left her position as a marketing director to pursue a full-time career in writing. She has yet to regret the decision.
Shursen's debut novel, political thriller ITSY BITSY SPIDER, was voted one of the top two thrillers of 2013. Legal thriller HUSH was published in January of 2014 and a top pick for Underground Book Revies. The first book in the psychological thriller series that follows the lives of a family caught in the web of a malevolent mental illness that spans over four decades and two generations, LOTTERY was released in August of 2014. SON OF CALEB, the second book of the series is now available, with the third and final novel, CALEB'S LOT, due for release in the fall of 2015.
You could visit Kimberly Shursen on Facebook or on Twitter or at her site .
"The absolutely best part of being a writer is meeting interesting people I would never have met if they had not taken a chance on a new writer and picked up my book. I will always and forever be grateful." - Kimberly Shursen
Read my review of Lottery