Review by author AJ Llewellyn
As an author and reader, I love the use of language and always enjoy getting to know another author’s special voice. Don Scribner’s Who Killed Love completely surprised me. He has a style unlike anything else I’ve read. Usually when I read a book I might see one or two lines that I wish I’d written. With him, there’s at least two in every page. I loved the characters and was touched by Harlan’s inability to walk on by his relationship with Terri. The scenes where he attends her wedding are excruciating. You really feel his desire to let her go, to see her happy, and the agony of what might have been. And then the story becomes a murder mystery and this was another first for me. A hybrid of genres that can be genuinely called a literary mystery. This is a big novel filled with small, important moments. It’s a journey of heartbreak, sorrow, friendship and enough original, quirky characters to make Robert Altman envious. And me, too. A fantastic achievement!
Review by Nancy Aggers Bessey
Who Killed Love by Don Scribner
Even this simple three-word title represents so much more complexity than anyone could imagine in this sensitive, engaging, tour de force piece of gonzo journalism masquerading as a murder mystery.
You begin by reading the first few paragraphs of a novel, our protagonist, Harlan Saltz, a writer, is developing in real time. And then are bombarded by perspective, introspective, philosophy, truth, fiction, and the actual murder mystery, of course. Each element entertaining in it’s own right, but when bound together becomes a non-stop adventure that entertains but does not condescend. You will want to read it twice, and maybe in rapid succession. Mostly because you want more of these characters, but will settle to go back and relive the moments you just had with them. Kind of like the desire to keep riding the roller coaster.
I’m not going to sugar coat this escape… The first several pages will challenge you to make a decision. So many words, so much description, so much insight, but the humility of the writer becomes apparent and you take his hand and go down the rabbit hole of this delightful journey.
You will love Harlan Saltz. He’s a man’s man, a woman’s man, and a real man. He flaunts his insecurities and exposes his vulnerability. His disaffection in this gonzo story is not about society or people or authority, he clearly loves people and respects everyone. He suffers from a great love for a seemingly underserving bipolar or self absorbed? woman. This obsession occupies his mind and soul but never so much that he ceases to truly exist and embrace every moment.
The novel introduces dozens of people with great depth, and yet the story moves with astounding pace. As Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth…”
Don Scribner’s truth creates characters while clearly flawed and engaging in sinful acts, are all worth knowing and capable of beautiful and redemptive acts.
And so this engaging, humorous, and absorbingly dense read teaches us something as well. Well done Mr. Scribner.