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Authors Directory Book BuzzBook Buzz November 19, 2013
Stranger than Fiction – A review of the novel ‘The Friday Edition’

“To live alone is the fate of all great souls” - Arthur Schopenhauer

In author Betta Ferrendelli’s novel ‘The Friday Edition’ the lead character of Samantha Church is introduced as a reporter working in a weekly community newspaper. She is shown as a miserable and yet sympathetic soul with a drinking problem that has resulted in a divorce, custody loss of her only child and also loss of a better reporting job. Her life takes a complete 360˚ the day she comes to learn about her sister and assistant DA, Robin’s death. Although the authorities are quick to dismiss the death as a clear case of suicide, Samantha is not convinced and takes it upon herself to prove them all wrong. She discovers some highly incriminating evidence that not only points to her sister’s murder but also unsheathes a notorious and vicious drug cartel business that doesn’t mind knocking off as many people as it requires to maintain the status quo of their business. Trying to find out what happened to Robin inadvertently helps Samantha keep her dependence on alcohol under check and try to lead a more well balanced and grounded life. With time running out, Samantha must not only face her inner demons but also the evil lurking at every corner, to take control of her own and her daughter April’s life.

The story seamlessly moves back and forward, revealing the fallout of the murder and also the events leading up to it. The author’s description and portrayal of Samantha as a person suffering from alcohol addiction and the way she copes with it has been brilliantly written and is also very realistically done. She quickly establishes the lead character of Samantha, who in spite of being shown as leading a miserable and sort of lonely life, you still can’t help but empathize and connect with her.

This whodunit mystery by Betta Ferrendelli has this ready to be made into a motion picture like feel to it. The dialogues are both crisp and to the point and yet doesn’t lack in its necessary emotional quotient. The chapters too are short and precise that delivers what it is meant to without dilly dallying on unnecessary banalities. It is well researched too, the details about the newspaper functioning, drug deals/distribution system, etc, are case in point.

The Friday Edition has a well narrated plot with characters you will love and some you will love to hate. There is a gradual build up of suspense which often alters the perception you would be building up in your mind about what is going to happen next. There's plenty of action, which isn’t all loud and in your face variety but more of the silent danger waiting to strike at any moment’s notice kind. There are no long winded self indulgent prose by the author, the writing is precise and snappy and always to the point.

Betta Ferrendelli has an intelligent and powerful voice that is in complete control and mastery of her craft. Her writing really brings the characters to life and you feel like you are in the story with them, which also takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions ranging from sadness and heartache to shock and awe. There is a shocking twist in the end that you won’t see coming and a very mature and understated ending which screams for a sequel. You will definitely recommend this book to your friends and family.
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January 28, 2015
One Final Tag – A review of the novel ‘Dead Wrong’

“Death ends a life, not a relationship” ― Mitch Albom

Author Betta Ferrendelli’s latest novel ‘Dead Wrong’ is the third book in the Samantha Church Mystery series of books. Ace reporter Samantha Church is back to her sleuthing ways in this edition, trying to uncover the secrets behind the mysterious happenings in a mortuary. Still recuperating from the physical and emotional toils of her previous adventure, Sam unwittingly finds herself helping a young woman who wants to expose the shady dealings going on in a funeral home. But she soon finds out that these modern day body snatchers have too much to lose and aren’t afraid to eliminate their threats forever.

The consistency shown by the author in drawing up the character of Samantha Church even in the third book of the series deserves some serious appreciation. At the same time one can also detect a growth in Sam’s character, she has gotten better at responding to her intuitions and her attitude towards her daughter also show a new level of maturity. Sam has this almost sad, miserable side to her personality that is often offset by this amazing heroic quality of taking the fight to the opposition even when she’s feeling down and out. If the previous books showed her dealing with her alcohol addiction, this time around she seems to have gotten that under control. But another trouble brews in her private life in the form of a terrible relationship with her trainer / boyfriend. Trace is a self -centred individual who becomes possessive about Sam when it suits him and otherwise acts aloof around her.

The second main character of Wilson gets a meatier part to play in this book and his personality shines through all the scenes he’s featured in. We also see him dealing with his own alcohol addiction and getting used to his new prosthetic hand. The special relationship and love shared by Sam and Wilson really comes out in Ferrendelli’s writing. You will also get to feel the genuine affection and respect these two characters have for each other. Even secondary characters like Abby, Peg, Mark, Ralph & Helen too are well etched out and their internal conflicts too have been nicely portrayed. Especially the sub-plot involving Helen and her change of heart when she realizes the pointlessness of her ‘job’ are all well written scenes. The book is well researched and yet doesn’t show off its research by unnecessarily packing in too much information about mortuaries and funeral homes.

The book ends on a definite cliff-hanger and as a reader you will have to undergo a tantalizing wait before you can find out what happens to Sam in light of the shocking revelation made towards the end. So Dead Wrong gets it dead right and the now the wait begins for the next book in the series.
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