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My mother used to tell me that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Actually I disagree with her, without even reading a single line of the text you can learn a great deal. Before I delve into a book I always read the stuff that most people do not. It did not take much investigation to figure out that I was going to enjoy this book, there were two things that caught my eye, firstly the dedication:

To all of the warty toads who hopped across my path

None of that mushy stuff to long lost friends and relatives. Byron just tells it the way it is! The other thing that caught my attention was the inscription on the back cover, a piece of real estate usually occupied with gushing one paragraph excerpts of praise from fellow authors. Once again Byron bucks the trend with:

Byron A, Lorrier ia a lawyer who lives in Largo, Florida. He rather proudly knows everything about nothing, and only talks to his cats.

Armed with these two pieces of vital information I settled into the meat and potatoes of Murder In The Magick Club. Normally when reading a book I look for such mundane things a plot and story flow. This book does not need really need either. The imagery and dialog draw the reader in, like a moth to the porch light.

The Magick Club is a seedy rundown nightclub, in a seedy rundown area, inhabited by seedy rundown characters. There is a Magick Club in every city I have ever lived! I like dive bars, in fact I seek them out. I like them so much that I held my wedding reception in one, a few glassed of draft beer, some stale pretzels, a bottle of Baby Duck, and we were all set!

Byron Lorrier has done a fabulous job of painting his characters, they are all disreputable, you would not want to invite any of them home for dinner and a chat, they would steal your silverware and empty your liquor cabinet in the blink of an eye.

The Magick Club is presided over by owner Bryn, a failing businessman who drinks too much of the profits and has a PhD in cynicism, when he discovers a dead body laying next to his dumpster he merely remarks “Grrreat ‘nother dead drunk”.

His staff are also from unique molds, waitress Magdeline is 29 going on 60, drug addicted and alcoholic, and of course shacked up with a loser who has never worked a day in his life. Waiter Cal the consummate cad, and waiter Robert the house homosexual. The only employee likable in any way is waitress Briana who works to help pay her school tuition.

The customers are equally dysfunctional, disreputable and dislikable. Drug dealers, drug users, ladies of the night, and losers by the dozen.

I can honestly say that I think Byron Lorrier has a great career ahead of him as a writer, he had me laughing so hard it hurt. I guess part of the allure is is that I think I have met many of his characters over the years. Byron has a superb ability in creating word pictures, within only a few pages I could see his characters come to life.

Murder In The Magick Club is well worth seeking out, it is a truly wonderful exploration of the underbelly of society. You can order your copy from Amazon. I do hope to lure Byron onto my Week In Reviews radio show, I just can’t wait to talk to him.

Simon Barrett

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