B for Beretta by F.M. Kamel

Published: September 30, 2021

Pages: 154

Genre: Magical Realism

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

F. M. Kamel graduated from college with a master’s degree in Graphic Design, where he had many opportunities to learn about the art of bookmaking in all of its facets (manual stitching, digital design, etc…). Ever since the crisis, the artistic job offers have severely declined, which has led him to take on a more stable 9-to-5 lifestyle until things go back to ‘normal.’ This fueled his drive to finally start writing a story that he’s been conceptualizing for the past seven years. The story itself is fictional and inspired by the political movements for social & moral justice that have seen great strides in the past ten years, even though there is still a long way to go before actual progress is reached. In contrast to the ‘standard’ writer, F.M. preferred to work on both the content (writing) and the design (editing) of his books, including the visuals. F.M. just finished ‘B For Beretta,’ which is the first part in a novella series centered around an African-American woman named ‘Lucille Devereaux,’ a character that he created as a grown-up ‘Nancy drew’ type from a minority perspective.

Lucille Devereaux is an established woman in her community who leads the occult department of NOLA university with a great sense of pride towards her voodoo heritage. She is known by everyone as the ultimate active observer, always studying her surroundings to help her find the missing pieces that are required to solve any given puzzle. One night, she dreams about her dead mother, the high priestess Madame Davina, who gives her a cryptic message to visit the relatively unknown area of Deacon Valley. Lucille wastes no time and drives off to her destination, but what she has yet to realize, is that this journey would end up being the wildest one she’s ever embarked upon. An absolute rollercoaster of events full of deadly twists and even more fatal turns….

“All I can tell you is; be prepared… for the unprepared!”

Lucille Devereaux is a professor who leads the occult department of NOLA university. While she may be touched with the gift is seeing the deceased, the last thing she ever expected was to witness pure hatred and see life treated so carelessly.

This was a quick read; the events take place during a night. There is a lot of chaos and events happening at once.

I enjoyed how the chaos was delivered, and it felt as though I were in the mix of everything happening, feelings everyone’s emotions and engaging as the story unfolded.

Well written and engaging, it is impossible not to be taken aback by the contents of this story. The sad thing is, though this is a work of fiction, it is based on far too many truthful events.

The story gets more intense as you read on, and the last half grips you tightly and holds you helplessly in place. For just the briefest of glimpses, we all stand in the shoes of what being a Person of Color in America may be like, and it is terrifying.

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