Never Buy an Earring without a Match: An SML Book Review of “Puzzleman”

PUZZ_Cover-SmallAmanda is a young artist whose painful past has made her bitter and callous. A sucker for street vendors, one afternoon she trades a few five-dollar bills for a single earring holding a rusty, dangling bauble.

Almost immediately, Amanda is plunged back into the worst memories of her past, and a dangerous, hellish present. The earring has summoned its mate, and with it, the Puzzleman, an ancient creature created from a mis-match of human limbs who has dragged Amanda’s horrid history back into the light. Amanda’s only choice is to track down her estranged ex-husband, Erik, who may know why the Puzzleman is after her and what his presence has to do with their baby who died several years ago.

In her journey to rid herself of the evil Puzzleman, Amanda gains the reluctant help of Erik’s former professor, Johnny Rainbow; his first love from the South of France, Jeannette; and retired detective Ben Henfry. Their hero’s journey spans two continents, and most of the bowels of the earth, ending in a series of standoffs that put everyone’s spirits at risk.

Broadstone’s novel is a strong first attempt, showcasing the quality of writing to come. The content, however, is not written for the faint of heart … or stomach. The pipeworld inhabited by the Puzzleman and his gruesome Grumemonsters is described as being in the “bowels of the earth,” and this metaphor follows the characters throughout the book. If you can’t stomach talk of blood, guts, human waste, and abused sphincters, then this book may not be for you.

Christopher Alan Broadstone is a Texas native now living in Los Angeles as a writer, musician, and filmmaker. “Puzzleman” is his first full-length novel. Click here to buy “Puzzleman” on Amazon.

Sarah G

What do you get when you cross a horror movie with a pile of books? She’s not always sure, but Sarah G is always there to find the connection. In the process, she has helped found a local nonprofit, started a satirical holiday, ticked off celebrities, and tried to purchase the lunar surface.

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