Author: Jeffrey A. Friedberg
ISBN: 978-0-9789247-2-0
Publisher: Indi Publishing Group

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I am not a zealous enthusiast of the cross genre paranormal thrillers, as I have difficulty believing in a tossed salad of witches, ancient and native prophesies, aliens, biblical tales, science of superstition, and far-flung adventures that are intertwined with mystery. I would probably attribute this to my past experiences where these novels seemed to lack passion, letting me to be engulfed in the atmosphere and the inherent feeling of dread. Nonetheless, when Jeffrey A. Friedberg’s Black Road 2012: Empire of the Gods-Book 1 The God Conspiracy crossed my desk, I thought, what the heck, I would give it a whirl and see what turns up. I was not disappointed.

This is an intense novel, involving a protagonist with deep feelings and attitudes, who is hounded by mysterious and bloodcurdling forces. The monstrous global plot is set in a landscape that is continually rife with danger. One important caveat, plan to read it in short bursts in order to savor not only the tale, which at times can prove to be a trifle overwhelming, but also to absorb some of Friedberg’s off-the-wall philosophical musings. More than once, just as I thought I grasped the essence of what is happening, Friedberg pulled me back to take another look. You can never anticipate where the story is going, as it will come back to bite you.

The narrative unfolds with a bizarre opening paragraph where Friedberg describes how his protagonist, Jack Vane is slammed against a wall by a Lieutenant Warchovski and accused of killing his wife with his own knife. Vane then goes onto inform us that his destiny trapped him, and that he knew too much about powerful worldwide forces that hunted him.
In the next couple of sentences reference is made to a terrifying Mayan prophecy-Doomsday December 21, 2012 which happens to be the birthday of Vane. And as Vane asks himself, “But what difference could I possibly make at the end of the world? At the end of Time....”

You are now probably wondering what is the Mayan prophecy? According to the ancient Mayan calendar, there will be an alignment of the sun with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, on the winter solstice, December 21, the year 2012 AD. This happens every 25,800 years and apparently, the mathematics of this conjunction is 100% accurate. It is predicted that the current world Age will end, and a New World Age will begin.

From here the story plunges ahead and more fully introduces us to Vane, who lives in New Mexico. He is a retired private investigator married to a beautiful Indian woman, Diana (Little Red Moon), who is pregnant with their twin girls. Vane is portrayed as a tough hombre who walks with a cane and a patch over his eye, as he is going blind from diabetes. It appears, however, that the wrong people always seemed to get hurt around him or died or as he describes himself, a prophet of harm and death.

One day, his eye specialist, Dr. Lafayette informs him that he sees a terrible destiny in him, and that he is doomed to the darkest hell. In the next sequence of events, Vane is lured into meeting with his lawyer and friend, Nicholas D'Agostino (Nick Dago), who has a very lucrative assignment to offer him from one of his clients that he can't refuse.

On his way to meet with D'Agostino, Vane senses he is being followed, and he is uncertain who and why he is being stalked. When Vane reaches D'Agostino's office, he is introduced to his four clients, the leader being a Ms. Jones. Vane is next asked to locate an important item for her and his retainer will be a box full of gold coins. After a lengthy explanation concerning Nazi pilots and World War II American clandestine activities, Vane is told that he must find an ancient solid gold Sumerian relic, the size of a basketball that is over five thousand years old. It seems ut can be used to control certain things-scientific processes. Furthermore, Jones believes that the relic can be made to control forces that run the universe. Vane debates with himself if he should take on the assignment. What materializes next is horrendous, involving the murder and mutilation of Vane's wife and unborn children. This leads him to a relentless dangerous chase to find out who murdered Diana and their unborn twin girls and also in finding the ancient relic. And as we discover, Vane is not the only one after the invaluable relic.

There are paranormal thrillers and then there are authentic paranormal thrillers that not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Black Road 2012: Empire of the Gods-Book 1 The God Conspiracy falls into the latter category. However, this is not to say that this debut novel is perfect. I felt that it was overwritten by about seventy-five pages. Also, at times I found the writing style not easy to swallow. Nonetheless, I have to admit, it is quite innovative and it is unlikely these imperfections will hamper the reception of this original creative work of fiction.

Click Here To Purchase BLACK ROAD 2012

Click Here To Read Norm's Interview With Jeffrey A. Friedberg