FOR READERS WHO NEED A BREAK FROM REALITY
The West Side Kid
With all the dire news out there, is there a better time for an "entertaining" murder mystery with villains who are "appropriately repugnant"?
Need some "imaginative twists and turns" in your life?
Will Laura Bennett ever discover the truth about her mother's murder and why her father ran off and left her more than two decades ago?
Will her fugitive father ever see his daughter again?
Welcome to my web site!
I'm Valentine Cardinale, author of The West Side Kid. It's my second novel and quite different from my first, The Terranovas: A War Family, which follows an Italian immigrant family as it struggles with war and terrorism over the course of four generations.
The West Side Kid is a mystery about a popular movie actor known as "The West Side Kid" who's accused of killing his wife, then abandoning his baby daughter and fleeing. Twenty-two years later, he's still on the run, while his daughter, Laura, has become so consumed with learning as much as she can about her parents she starts investigating the murder case herself. Slowly, the pieces start coming together, but the more she learns, the more her life and the lives of others are endangered.
Recently, The West Side Kid won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the mystery category (2010) from the North American Bookdealers Exchange (NABE).
What reviewers are saying
The Midwest Book Review captures the essence of the story: "Fear can make you flee from everything, including the ones you love. The West Side Kid is the story of Lorne Bennett and his estranged daughter, Laura. When their wife and mother is found murdered, Lorne out of fear of being suspected flees for his life, abandoning his child. Over the next two decades, Laura grows into an adult and is obsessed with finding out the truth about her parents, which slowly leads her down the road to justice, which may incriminate or clear her father's name... The West Side Kid is an entertaining thriller, and highly recommended reading."
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For Reader Views, reviewer Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson defines Cardinale's writing as "definitely imaginative and engaging, with a fast-moving story, wild twists and turns, and an interesting ending." His characters, she goes on to say, "are well-defined and thoroughly believable. The villains are appropriately repugnant and the good guys dashing and daring." Her favorite character is twelve-year-old Alex whose "keen powers of observation and charming personality were a true asset in the quest for truth." She hopes that Alex and some of the other characters appear "in some kind of sequel or spin-off story in the near future." Finally, this comment from Ms. Baumgartner-Jackson: "I feel certain that The West Side Kid by Valentine Cardinale will be enjoyed by readers everywhere."
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The Foreword Clarion Review likes the way the author "skillfully throws suspicion on a series of individuals as Laura is repeatedly warned by a mysterious caller not to get involved in the investigation. The threats on her life only heighten her determination." And Laura continues her search, with the help of freelance reporter Billy Volpe and his observant daughter, Alex. Foreword Clarion concludes by saying that "the author has left the door open for sequels featuring the precocious Alex and her dad, and Laura and the West Side Kid. Cardinale's fast-paced and imaginative twists and turns should keep his fans asking for more."
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The Sacramento Book Review, in its review, calls The West Side Kid "a well-written novel with plenty to recommend. While it is a mystery story, it is also the search for meaning and roots. Laura needs to lay her own ghosts to rest about her family and the abandonment she's felt all her life. And her resolution provides not only an answer to that early mystery, but also peace with her life. A quick and enjoyable read."
Let's hear from you
The West Side Kid, like The Terranovas: A War Family, is published through iUniverse, Inc., Bloomington, Ind. Copies are available from the publisher (www.iuniverse.com or 1-800-AUTHORS), local bookstores, or on-line retailers. (See the Order page.)
Finally, I hope you find this site useful and enjoyable. If you have a comment or two, I'd love to hear from you. (See Contact page or e-mail me at email@example.com.) Thanks for stopping by.