A Pandemic Novel
Some characters and situations are fictitious. Others are only too real in this modern-day thriller set amid the chaos of a global epidemic and a cultural uprising that set the world ablaze. She’s Lucky one day—Jackie the next. Actress or con artist? Avenging angel or gold-digger? Hunter or prey? Straight or lesbian? Black Lives Matter activist? Only she knows the truth. Or does she? Controversial? No doubt. And all the while—the pandemic kills.
Feeling Lucky is a great addition to the emerging sub-genre of pandemic novels. In fact is probably the one I’ve enjoyed most from those I’ve read so far. An edge of dark-humour and subtle satire make this an even more interesting read, and one I found hard to put down. Jackie is a great central character, and despite much subterfuge and smoke and mirrors the story hooked me early on and kept that “just one more chapter” feel all the way through. This is one I’ll be recommending to friends.
California author MSM Barkawitz – aka Mark Barkawitz – is a screenwriter, actor, creative writing teacher, athlete and track coach whose fiction, essays, poetry and screenwriting have won multiple awards. His books, as Mark Barkawitz, to date include Giant Killers, The DOG with the OPPOSABLE THUMB, 29 Again & Other Cancer-Fighting Stories, and Full Moon Saturday Night. Now, under his new nom de plume, he offers Feeling Lucky. In addition to his many literary accomplishments, Mark is a cancer survivor whose indomitable spirit has influenced many with critical illnesses as well as bringing support to the City of Hope research and patient care. He lives in Pasadena, California.
Perhaps Mark’s skills, outlined in brief above, gained in screenwriting and in dealing with the ‘wages of life,’ are in part responsible for this exceptionally fine thriller. But whatever the nidus for his talent, this new novel places him solidly in the forefront of contemporary fiction authors. He is able to convey a breathlessly paced mystery while peppering it with a wry humor that serves to make his prose unique.
A sample of Mark’s talent opens his story –
‘It was still early morning, but the SoCal fog was already lifting. We’d been parked at the curb across from the upscale, west-side condominium complex for about half-an-hour, when a blue, late-model BMW 320i drove down the driveway with an attractive, young brunette behind the tinted safety-glass. She turned into the street – and without taking notice – drove past us. From the driver’s seat of our old VW Rabbit, Shannon looked over at me. “That her?” ”Think so.” She offered her closed fist. I bumped knuckles with her. Both of our fists popped open in a familiar, pretend explosion with brightly-colored, acrylic nails. I grabbed my purse. As I opened the door, she advised in Español, even though she wasn’t. “Vaya con Dios.” And form there we meet Jackie, in all her brand name and contemporary influenced lingo and the story takes off – after an announcement that jars the recipient!