Title: Lucky Break
Author: Chloe Neill
First published October 1, 2015
112 pages, Kindle Edition
Chloe Neill’s Lucky Break takes readers on an exciting journey as vampire Merit and her love interest Ethan plan a romantic trip to a secluded town in Colorado. However, their plans go awry when they discover that the town is a hotbed of supernatural turmoil.
The centuries-old feud between local vampires and shifters has turned the town into a perpetual battleground, and their vacation is quickly interrupted when one of Ethan’s vampire friends shows up at their door, covered in blood, and accused of killing her shifter husband. Merit and Ethan must put their romance on hold and work together to uncover the truth behind the murder before chaos ensues.
In this novella, Chloe Neill delivers a thrilling and action-packed story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
About the Author
Chloe Neill has authored several bestselling novels, including Heirs of Chicagoland, Chicagoland Vampires Novels, Devil’s Isle Novels, and Dark Elite novels. Although she grew up in the South, she now resides in the Midwest.
When not writing, Chloe enjoys baking, working, and browsing the internet for amazing graphic designs and tasty recipes. She also finds solace in spending time with her family, including her husband and their furry companions, Baxter and Scout.
If you want to connect with Chloe, you can find her at .
Jedediah Berry’s The Manual of Detection is an intriguing and genre-bending novel that explores the themes of identity, perception, and the power of the mind. Published in 2009, the book has since garnered critical acclaim for its unique style and inventive plot.
The story is set in an alternate world that combines elements of mystery, fantasy, and surrealism. Charles Unwin, a clerk at the Agency, a detective agency in a nameless city, suddenly finds himself promoted to the rank of detective, despite having no experience in the field.
Tasked with investigating a series of bizarre cases, including a theft of a famous author’s manuscript and the disappearance of a detective, Unwin must navigate the surreal landscape of the city with the help of his enigmatic partner, Travis Sivart. The Manual of Detection is as much a meditation on the nature of reality as it is a mystery novel.
The city in which the story is set is a place of constant transformation, where buildings shift and bend in impossible ways and dreams blur with waking life. The narrative shifts between Unwin’s perspective and that of the mysterious Sivart, whose identity and motives are shrouded in secrecy.
The book’s themes of identity and perception are explored through the interplay of these two characters, who represent different parts of the human psyche. One of the strengths of The Manual of Detection is its elegant prose and precise attention to detail.
Berry’s writing is a joy to read, with passages that are both evocative and insightful. The book is also rich in symbolism and metaphor, with recurring motifs such as clocks, mirrors, and dreams adding depth to the narrative.
The characters, too, are well-crafted and memorable. Unwin is a sympathetic and relatable protagonist, whose ordinariness and lack of experience make him all the more endearing.
Sivart is a more enigmatic figure, whose motives and background are slowly revealed over the course of the novel. However, the book’s plot can at times feel disjointed and meandering, with some of the mysteries and plot twists stretching the boundaries of plausibility.
While this is partly intentional, given the surreal and dreamlike nature of the story, it can also make the narrative feel unfocused. Overall, The Manual of Detection is an inventive and thought-provoking novel that will appeal to fans of detective fiction and magical realism alike.
Its explorations of identity, perception, and the power of the mind are timely and relevant, and its prose is a joy to read. While the book is not without its flaws, it is a testament to Berry’s talent and imagination.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy genre-bending fiction and those looking for a thought-provoking read. My rating for this book is 4 out of 5 stars.