Friday, July 13, 2012

{Review} Battle Axe by Bill Cokas

ISBN #: 978-1470087623
Page Count: 258
Copyright: March 2, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

When his father plays the sax, he blows crowds away. But when Dorsey Duquesne picks up a guitar, he simply blows. Though he's a wealthy software entrepreneur, music just isn't in his blood -- and neither is his father's DNA. When his mother Cherry reveals (at his father's funeral, of all places) he was adopted at birth, Dorsey's tin ear suddenly makes sense. But it also leaves the 40-year-old questioning his identity. Emotionally adrift, he hires a one-eyed strip-mall detective, hoping the missing pieces will provide the peace he's been missing. Meanwhile Cherry, along with Dorsey's wife and best friend, are colluding to keep him from finding the long-buried truth about his "adoption."

A yellowed, anonymous letter leads the vulnerable Dorsey to a dusty vineyard in the Black Forest -- and straight to a jitterbugging, strudel-baking redhead named Mitzi, who claims to be his birth mother. Employing a well-rehearsed charm, she slowly wins him over -- and away from his family. While in Germany, and with the help of the axe-wielding village night watchman, Dorsey does some long-overdue growing up. But will his eyes open in time to see his new "mom" has a darker agenda? And will he realize the true definition of family before it's too late?

Battle Axe is an offbeat, suspenseful novel that places quirky, flawed characters in unwelcome situations. Adopted or "normal," readers will find something to relate to and someone to root for.

Charlene's Review:

When 40 year old Dorsey Duquesne finds out his is adopted, he is desperate to find his birth mother. Left reeling with the sudden news, he soon finds himself deep in a mess of secrets and lies, and the farther he pushes, the farther from the truth he gets. As he alienates himself from his family and friends, they join together to uncover the deception of his newly-found "mother."

This is a story that carries you away, quickly. The first chapter introduces us to all the major characters, covers two deaths in two separate continents that are ultimately related, and sets the scene for a host of happenings that leave you hanging on every word. Add in a few interesting character traits, unseemly circumstances, and a wonderful sense of humor, and you have a book that is totally absorbing. The depth of pain Dorsey experiences when questioning his identity, coupled with the pain of the adopted mother, Cherry, when she must let him go to find his way, create a powerful testimony to the realities of adoption. Ultimately though, Dorsey finds out that the true making of family isn't always dependent on DNA.

I love Mr. Cokas' writing style. Humorous, sensitive to emotion, and full of suspense; I couldn't read it fast enough. I found the characters to be charming and a little crazy, but totally relatable. The action flows quickly, and while the ending was fairly predictable, there are enough surprises to make this a memorable story.

*A physical copy of the book was received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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