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Friday, December 13, 2013

The Zyratron Affair by Joe Nowlan



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Sandra Murphy


Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Sci-fi is not my genre to read so I was a little hesitant about this book. It turns out I loved it. The sci-fi aspect is just the backdrop for a darn good mystery.

The main character, Ben Hudson, is a photographer for the Boston Banner and really, it was never his plan to discover a dead body—especially when he’d left his camera at home.

Zyratron was a Japanese horror movie from the early 60s. Badly edited, the mouth movements of the actors who spoke Japanese, didn’t match the English dubbed words. The special effects, well, were not so special. It developed a cult following among college students. College students grow up and make a lot of money which they then spend on collectibles they failed to get as kids.

The Zyratron action figure wasn’t very active or well made. Cheap plastic doesn’t hold up plus they only sold a few. Now, the darn things are worth a lot of money. Linda Hamilton (not the Terminator one, the reporter for the Banner), writes a story about vintage toy store owner, Giuseppe GePetto (so he says), who has three of the original figures, not to be confused with new plastic impersonators. It’s Giuseppe’s body that Ben finds.



Image source: Oak Tree

Soon, anyone who has a Zyratron is targeted—original or new—but they’re not stolen and resold. Shattered pieces of plastic are found at the scene. Another murder, more thefts, who is behind it all and why?

The characters are good, the talk among the reporters is spot on with today’s “read online” push and Ben is a delight.

This is a quick read, only 134 pages but you get an added bonus of fourteen pages of Media Blitz, the first in the series at the end. I must say, the excerpt ends at a point that makes you want to read the rest of the book—right now!

In the Author’s Note, Joe Nowlan quotes Elmore Leonard “When you write, try to leave out all the parts the readers skip.” He did that and this is the result, satisfying in itself but it leaves you craving another.

To enter to win a copy of The Zyratron Affair, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Locked”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 21, 2013. U.S. residents only.


Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including Bananas Foster.

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