Four by Chad Schimke
Schimke, Chad, “Picker”, CreateSpace, 2012.
A Character Driven Crime Novel
Chad Schimke is a new writer for me and he sent me two books and two novelettes recently. “Picker” is the first that I read and it is a character driven crime novel. Fernando Martinez is a crime boss of a gang that does trafficking. When on an afternoon there was a grab for power which caused consequences for many people. It is from this point that we find ourselves involved in what went on. Schimke has the ability to pull us in and we become, in a sense, characters in the story. We find ourselves in the criminal underworld and sit on the edge of our chairs as things are sorted out.
While the story is about crime, I must see that we are not shortchanged on anything here. Schimke is an excellent writer who has a real knack for both character development and description. Set in New Mexico, Schimke brings in the Indian traditions and all of this together makes for a fascinating read. Since the author grew up in rural New Mexico, he has a feel for the area and the characters. We now have a new author to welcome to the group of LGBT writers although Schimke has told me that while he himself is gay, he likes to mix and match genres and therefore his content is not exclusively gay.
Schimke, Chad. “Pieces”, CreateSpace, 2012.
Inter-Connected Character Vignettes
“Pieces” is completely different than “Picker”. It is a paranormal mystery composed of inter-connected character vignettes and set in San Francisco and takes place from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. The character who stands at the center is Lyman Blackmore, a casino owner who is lucky enough to be quite wealthy. His world is one of eccentric characters and is filled with suspense, crime and the out-of-the-ordinary. This is a read that keeps you guessing as you navigate its twists and turns. The characters themselves are reflections of the diversity of San Francisco. While I am not much of a mystery reader, I had a lot of fun reading this.
Schimke, Chad. “Walker”, Amazon Digital Services, 2012.
Still even more different than his other works is “Walker”, a novelette with its roots in science fiction and fantasy. Frank Apostolo is a regular at several New York City hot spots. Jane Mills is a young fashion model whose career is rising quickly. Both of them are in cahoots with a horrible monster that has relieved them of their human ties. The story takes us all over the place as we try to get to know the characters who as paranormals are thrust into the world of science fiction.
Schimke, Chad. “Weirder”, Amazon Digital Services, 2012.
A Carnival Story
Chad Schmike’s other novelette is about a side show and what happens to Henry Hill, a young magician who joins it. The show is run by a bearded lady and as the story progresses, each act is tested. We move toward a conclusion that is shocking. Hill is a complex character and we grow with him. Carnival stories are always fun but when you add darkness to them, they become really fun. This is what Schimke has done here.