Publisher-ebook: Zac Homer, (April 20, 2014)
Category: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller, Some Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 261 Pages
~ Synopsis ~
FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.
Rio de Janeiro. 1984.
There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited “pale-skinned messiah.” Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.
Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.
~ Excerpt ~
Her name was Angélica. A good name for a whore.
And she was an angel of a whore: sweet, young, and happy. With Bobby Lee’s help, she led Straw to a larger, airy room. She chased Bobby Lee out, then bathed him gently, gently crooning all the while. The bed was soft, the sheets white. It made a nice contrast, brown Angélica stretched on white sheets.
The rich, sweet smell of her. Her rich, sweet taste.
They were very tender with each other. It may even have been real. It didn’t matter, though, for nothing changed. She was still a whore, and he was still without peace. Afterward, he held her while she slept.
He held her till morning. He left without looking back.
Carlos had been his usual efficient self, managing to book passage for William Straw on one of the diesels. Built as private cruisers for the pre-war planter barons, sold to the government when the corporations took over the land, used now to ship cargo and mail and the more foolhardy or hardbitten visitors to the outposts upriver, the diesel boats were a luxury of great rarity in the Amazon Basin.
Carlos had packed Straw’s bags the night before and helped carry them now, in unnatural silence, up the freshly whitewashed gangplank and down again to a small but clean and well-ventilated cabin. Straw took quick inventory. Jungle wardrobe, portable typewriter, the locked leather folder. His battered favorite panama hat. Everything was there. “You’ve been a shadow on my spirit,” he told Carlos, “but you’re a damn good partner.”
“Thank you, William,” Carlos said, more subdued than ever.
“You’re awfully down in the mouth this morning,” Straw noted cheerfully. He produced an envelope filled with banknotes. “Here’s something may cheer you up. Final payment for a job well done.”
Carlos accepted the envelope without enthusiasm, though he wasn’t so morose as to neglect to count its contents.
“William! You’ve given me five thousand cruzeiros.”
“You lodging a complaint?”
“But you owe me only half as much.”
“So I’m sentimental.”
“No one pays more than he has to pay. It’s without precedent.”
“My tribute to an invaluable colleague,” Straw said.
“I’m—I’m moved, William. Truly.”
“You’re not going to make another speech, are you, Carlos?”
“No, William, I’m going to do something even more serious than that. I’m going to shatter a precedent, too. I’m going to give you some information free of all charge.”
“I don’t think I can afford it, Carlos.”
“Early this morning, while you were elsewhere, I was paid a visit by a much-credentialed gentleman. A very persistent gentleman he was, too.”
“You didn’t tell him about this?” Straw asked, holding up the leather folder.
“Of course not!” Carlos’s jowls shook with indignation. “I’m a pimp, not a traitor.”
“Then there’s no problem,” Straw said. “We both knew we couldn’t keep this from the funcionários forever. The government’s too paranoid about their Indios. Sooner or later, they were bound to catch me snooping around. I’ll just play it dumb and pretend not to notice when they start tailing me. I’ve gone this route before, Carlos, and I haven’t been tagged by the polícia yet.”
“This was no ordinary policeman.”
“You mean you couldn’t bribe him?”
“This was an agent of the F.S.U.”
William Straw was, despite himself, impressed.
The Federal Serviço por Urbanizar was an agency solely concerned with the snuffing out of all sparks of dissidence. Their agents handled—not kindly, either—misguided students, unsanctioned politicians, honest union organizers—all sorts of renegades, including on occasion the too-inquisitive reporter.
The good news was that the F.S.U. also specialized in what the Brazilian government euphemistically labeled the “Indio Question.” If the F.S.U. was at his back, then he must be on the right track.
He tried explaining this to Carlos, but Carlos was not reassured. “Do not underestimate these people,” he said. “They are not like the stupid police or the overfed soldiers. They answer only to the highest of authorities. Their methods are private, effective, and beyond appeal.”
“I’ll be careful.”
“I am much relieved to hear this. For if you are not careful, then they will kill you,” said Carlos.
* * *
There was a knock on the door.
A ferrety-looking man was standing there. He flashed identification.
“William Straw? Writer of features and columns for the filth-mongering, communist-infiltrated, unmanly, and disgraceful yellow tabloid known as the Rio Heraldo?”
“Is that a smile on your face, Senhor Straw?”
“You find me amusing?”
“Where are you going, Senhor Straw?”
“Business or pleasure?”
“Does anyone go to Xueloc for pleasure?”
“Business or pleasure, Senhor Straw?”
“Nature of business?”
“Nature of story?”
“That’s a newspaper term, is it not?”
“For civil unrest among tribal Indios?”
“You freely admit you are investigating tribal war?”
“You’re uniquely frank, Senhor Straw.”
“Almost foolhardy, one could say.”
“And how foolhardy would I be if I tried lying to the F.S.U.?”
“You know us then?”
“Only by reputation. Am I in trouble with you guys?”
“Senhor Straw, much of what you write is distinctly critical of Brazilian institutions. Our fine military history. Our democratic laws.”
“I’ve been told I’m a regular tavão.”
“Yes, a gadfly, very good. You are a gadfly, Senhor Straw, and a gadfly will never be missed. A pleasant journey, Senhor Straw.”
“The same to you, pal.”
Praise for ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:
“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer
~ Review by Angela ~
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
This book is a little hard to categorize. It’s an action/thriller/suspense book but it also reads like a history novel as well. The atrocities that are described in this book at the hands of the government of the Indios have truth to them. While the book is fiction, there is usually an element of truth to some of the more horrific aspects. All you have to do is look at the treatment of the Native Americans at the hands of the government here in the U.S.
The story of Michael Fevers is a pretty interesting read. The action and suspense is abundant throughout and the trials and tribulations of this “gadfly” to get his story seems to know no bounds. It seems as though no matter what happens, William Straw will get his story. Once his journey takes him down a certain path, there is no going back and it’s hard to determine if he’s continuing out of pride or if he really needs the closure. There is a drive in William Straw that has to go beyond just the story and getting the headline. It seems as though he feels personally connected to his subject and must follow the connection no matter where it leads. This story is gritty, raw, shocking, provocative, and thought provoking. It definitely is not for the faint of heart. I give Fevers 4 books.
~ Purchase Links ~
~ About the Author ~
Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.
His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.
Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.
Follow the ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer Tour:
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 11 Spotlight & Giveaway
Lady in Read May 12 Review
Mallory Heart Reviews May 14 Review
What U Talking Bout Willis? May 15 Excerpt
Mom Are We There Yet May 18 Review
Feel the Need, Need to Read May 19 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway
Let’s Talk About Books May 22 Review & Giveaway
Readers Muse May 25 Review
fuonlyknew May 28 Review & Giveaway
Inspire to Read May 29 Review
Spring Reads Jun 1 Excerpt
Lisa’s Writopia June 2 Review
Celticlady’s Reviews Jun 3 Excerpt
Mary’s Cup of Tea Jun 5 Review
Books, Books & More Books Jun 8 Review & Ecerptx
Cyn Harris Jun 15 Excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt Jun 18 Review