"The Desire Card" by Lee Matthew Goldberg
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*
The Desire Card is the first book in the Desire Card series, written by Lee Matthew Goldberg. Published by Fahrenheit Press, this book is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing at every turn. If you like darker fiction, check out his other books, The Mentor and Slow Down.
The Desire Card is an exciting crime thriller that follows Harrison Stockton as he navigates his increasingly complicated life. To start the novel, Harrison is let go from his job, but as part of his severance package, he receives something called a desire card. According to his sleazy boss, the card can grant any wish Harrison desires. For his first wish, Harrison wants a prostitute. The expensive and steamy night leads Harrison to discover that he has liver disease after he wakes up covered in blood. So not only is Harrison out of a job, but he also has less than a year to live.
I thought the plot moved quickly, and I was engaged the whole time. I did find myself scratching my head at some of the actions that the characters made, and some scenes dragged out a bit too long. I also found the plot twists to be too predictable, and I was disappointed when all of my predictions came true.
The writing style is clean and straightforward. I was never confused, and the sentence structure and word choice great. There were a few words that the author used that I had never seen before, so I enjoyed that I got to expand my vocabulary while reading.
The story is organized and easy to follow. There is a clear, linear storyline that is easy for the reader to follow.
The character development for Harrison was predictable and a little too convenient. The author labels the main character's development, leaving little for the reader's interpretation.
The symbols of money and status are prevalent throughout the book. The concept of the desire card itself is a metaphor for the illusion that money can solve all of our problems.
My favorite part of the novel was a line spoken by Naelle, the first prostitute that Harrison hired. She said, "Mister, if I'm your angel, then you got f*cked in the angel department," and I burst out laughing. This book had been consistently dark, so hearing that line took me by surprise.
My least favorite part was the ending. I found it to be very anticlimactic. I was disappointed with what happened, but I do appreciate how the author took the time to wrap up Harrison's character.
Overall, I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. I knocked it down a couple of stars because of its anticlimactic ending and the predictable plot twists. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys dark fiction. Even though this story was not my favorite, I will check out other books in this series. I think the concept of the desire card is fascinating, and I would love to read about different people's experiences with the service.