Friday, April 18, 2014

A Sinister Obsession by S.B. Redstone: Tens List & Book Review



What 10 things absolutely drive you insane?


            Although I tend to be a highly emotional, reactive, and opinionated individual, most of the time I am calm and relaxed. But, as my wife will attest, there are certain situations, people, or companies that will just boil my blood, resulting in my shouting at the television, an article in the newspaper, or out in public.


1.       Fictional Psychology – When I hear pundits on television describing inaccurate cause and effect relationships for human behavior it drives me crazy. For example, a mother kills her children. A psychiatrist comes on a news program and says that her depression caused her to do it. No! If depression was highly linked to murder, then it would be a correct assumption that most people on Earth would be dead! Here is the truth. People who are heartless kill others. They have no real regard for human life. And no empathy for the suffering they cause. My characters accurately depict that truth in my stories. How do I know this? I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, School Psychologist, and I researched and wrote a psychology book that revealed the truths of human nature. Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning. Unfortunately, the average person doesn’t know this and are left with miss information.  


2.      Television Commercials – Day after day, I am subjected to television commercials with fraudulent products, scams, and repetition, which exasperates me. Diet pills and anti-snoring aids that have exaggerated claims of success. Anti-depressant medications that after hearing the side effects, you’d have to be suicidal to swallow one of them. Catheters and erectile dysfunction are important, but how many times a day do I have to hear about them!


3.      Hero Worship – This really irks me. When people put celebrities on pedestals even though those individuals engage in immoral, illegal, and arrogant actions. People will say, I separate their behavior from their talent or job. Okay, so let me understand, you can listen to them sing, or play a sport, or act and disregard their abysmal destructive behavior. So, with that logic, these people would have no problem electing a mass murdering bigot as president!


4.      Parents Who Think Their Child Is Gifted - Not only as a parent, but as a school psychologist, I have heard, over and over again, parents who brag that just because their child is reading early or excels in grammar school, they are gifted. Demanding gifted classes in school. Certainly, these children are bright, intelligent and motivated for achievement. But here’s reality. Michelangelo was gifted. So was Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie. But no one knew that until after they grew up!


5.      Restaurants With Substandard Food – I’m sure this has happened to you. You go to a restaurant you haven’t frequented before, expecting a good meal for your money. For me, I’m a good cook. I like to cook. So, when I go out to eat, I expect a professional chef to prepare a dish far better than I can. Wrong! Too often my wife and I are served tasteless, unappealing, unimaginative crap! I’m not shy. I complain. I send the food back. And I never show up again. We are eating out less and less.


6.      Over Priced Sports Figures – I’m a social worker at heart. I care about people and the hard work and dedication it takes to just survive in this world. So, why do I have to be subjected to multi-millionaire sports figures who are not only undeserving of those exorbitant salaries, but who cheat or are the worst role models for their fans. I don’t anymore because I get a sore throat screaming at their lack luster ability!


7.      Icons and Advertising on the Television Screen – This is so annoying! Does it bother you to have the station logo and upcoming programming on the television screen while watching a television show or movie. As far as I’m concerned they’re atrocious distractions. First there was one, now two, soon you’ll have to watch a show through ten of them! I went to complain to the FCC and there was no one to complain to. It is so rude. 


8.      Bad Weather Reports – I once realized that there was only one job in the world that paid exceedingly well and the people never had to be correct. Weather people! If I was that wrong all the time, I would have been fired from every job I had!


9.      People Who Cannot Curb Their Dogs - Is there anyone who doesn’t know that there is a law to curb your dog and pick up after them? Yet, some pet owners seem to go out of their way to have their dogs go to the bathroom on lawns, even my lawn, killing the grass! When you say something to them, they sneer at you.


10.   The word “Unfortunately”! – I can’t prove this, but there must be a secret decision amongst literary agents and publishers on what to say to writers they wish to reject. I say this, not because I’m paranoid, but how is it, that every rejection, and I’ve had my share, use the same word to reject you! Your novel is interesting, but unfortunately it’s not right for us. Great concept, but unfortunately we don’t handle mysteries. I can see you have a passion for your work, but unfortunately . . . Fortunately, a few kind publishers know talent when they read it!  


Title:  A Sinister Obsession

Author:  S. B. Redstone

Published:  August 2013

Publisher:  Black Opal Books

Word Count: approx. 94,000

Genre:  Mystery Thriller

Content Warning:  Violence and Sexual Content

Recommended Age:  21+


Synopsis: A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why…

Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer—an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life.

Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences—and their attraction for each other—and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed.


from A Sinister Obsession by S. B. Redstone:

When Aubrey arrived home, she glanced at her answering machine. There was one message. Since she didn’t have friends, she knew who it was. She pressed the button and heard that cold, authoritative voice. “Aubrey. This is your mother. I am reminding you of Randal’s birthday party tomorrow night. He would be quite disappointed if you did not make an appearance. The time—”
Aubrey quickly pushed the delete button. She hated being reminded of times and dates by her mother, as if she was a forgetful child. It pissed her off.
After taking a hot shower, she slipped into green satin pajamas. Sitting in her entertainment room, watching the late evening news, she sipped 1981 Armagnac Cames Brandy and ate crackers with brie.
Nearing three in the morning, Aubrey turned off the television, and went into bed. In the darkness, she obsessed about the murder case, feeling a rising anger toward this heinous criminal. Her last conscious thought before falling asleep brought a smile to her face. She knew the perp had failed to take one essential factor into consideration before deciding to perpetrate the crime. A factor that he didn’t predict, and in fact, couldn’t have predicted. And that factor would eventually lead her to discover his identity and get a conviction. He didn’t know I’d be assigned to the case!




I was a bit concerned before I began reading when I noticed the length of this novel. My experience has been that long debut books are sometimes not as tightly written as they should be; frequently suffering the dreaded (to me) saggy middle syndrome.   I need not have been concerned.  From its explosive, heart-pounding beginning to its provocative, chilling epilogue I was completely invested; immersed in the creepy and bizarre thoughts and actions of a deviant person intent on creating the perfect life she felt she was denied, and the detectives who will turn over every stone and uncover closely guarded secrets in their relentless search for the elusive killer.

The cold, calculating female detective Aubrey is abrasive and tactless.  She has a sometimes debilitating paranormal ability that forces her to keep others at a distance, but is an invaluable aid to her in cracking difficult cases. When Aubrey is unwillingly partnered with a handsome, charmer who seems on the surface to be a shallow dilettante tempers flare as personalities clash, it seems unlikely the partnership can ever succeed.  Aubrey and Joshua’s partnership is a unwelcome cross both must bear if the diabolical monster is to be stopped.

The book is masterfully crafted and pulls no punches when it comes to unraveling a tangled history that inadvertently became a breeding ground of insanity; one in which a sick mind is able to conceive of and justify heinous actions of despicable cruelty.  I particularly loved the characters, so flawed, yet driven to do what they do by forces that each must obey.  Aubrey’s awkward social ineptitude was literally painful to me, at times, yet I felt more compassion than disdain for her.  This is a book that took me by surprise by its depth of emotion and finely woven, believable human pathos.  I loved it, and sincerely hope that Mr. Redstone has more stories in his arsenal, and will deliver another Aubrey and Joshua thriller, to boot.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

  Reviewed by Laurie-J


I write under the name S. B. Redstone. I began my career, after graduating from Hunter College, as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services, Protective Services, investigating the horrors of the abuse and neglect of children. After attaining master’s degrees in Social Work and School Psychology, and then completing a post-graduate education in Psychoanalytic Therapy, I became a School Psychologist in the New York City Department of Education and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a private therapy practice on Long Island, treating adults, adolescents, children, and couples. Always striving to improve my understanding of human nature, I researched and then wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, which offers remarkable insights into behavior, societal institutions, and relationships. I have written articles on the web concerning human nature, relationships and the abuses of societal institutions, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows.

Always having a vivid imagination and a desire to write fiction, I developed my writing skills by becoming a successful writer of short stories, all of which have been published on the web and in print. As an expert in the field of human psychology, I have been able to develop realistic characters from the dark side of human nature where my villains don’t aspire for happiness through personal achievement, but rather from their demented narcissistic schemes. Many of my characters have been taken from my clinical experiences and interesting people I know. I love romance in my stories. It is an essential element in my mystery thriller A Sinister Obsession and horror novel. Now that I am obsessed with writing “senior” romances, it has become further developed and heartfelt. I have two seeking publication at this time. I am a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization and Romance Writers of America.



Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • A $25 electronic Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway is International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post a Comment