When the Serpent Bites
A successful and respected CEO, Frederick Starks is obsessed with his wife’s salacious behavior. Stalking her lover, Starks unexpectedly lands in prison. Starks believes that his life is in danger because of a prison gang leader. As predicted, Starks is brutally attacked. Initially presumed dead, Starks not only recovers from a coma, but also is determined—more than before—to be in control of his surroundings, both in and out of prison. Using Jeffrey, his right hand man and best friend, to make the necessary connections, Stark’s persona takes on a different turn when he returns kindness to those who’ve helped him—all for the purpose of achieving one goal: payback.
Nesly Clerge spins a convoluted web of human dynamics and sinister situations in his debut novel. Clerge’s third person narrative zeroes in on the life of a man with severe tunnel vision. An egotist to the max, Frederick Starks is quick to notice the specks in the eyes of others, yet is blind to the great log that he possesses. To feed his “over-blown sense of entitlement,” Clerge surrounds Starks with a well developed foiled cast made up of family, friends, coworkers, and just about everyone at the prison. The end result is one very irritating yet frightening character—at least from a reader’s perspective. Surprisingly, the real irony is that while there are only a few characters who view him in that same light, Starks’s authoritative (though deceptive) tone mixed in with his dangling fiscal carrot is nothing less than alluring, especially to the prison guards. Even Stark’s prison counselor is a bit duped by his manipulative manner.
Clerge’s careful attention to character development and the cast’s interactions with Starks is a main ingredient that keeps his story flowing. And as Stark’s venomous persona slowly evolves and tension continues to build, Clerge throws in his own form of deception. Readers may think that no good can come from the choices that Stark makes. Yet Clerge’s cliffhanging chapters continually tickle the curiosity of thriller aficionados to keep turning pages to see what the final outcome will be. Clerge also maintains plot fluidity by alternating character scenes, backstories, and a plethora of twisted and suspenseful events. When the Serpent Bites closes on an alarming note that is ideal preparation for Clerge’s upcoming sequel.
|Page Count||396 pages|
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