Jennifer Fales (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (06/16)
In “The Robusta Incident” by Jennifer Fales, we meet Howard Danishefsky, a chemist that works in the downtown office of an international coffee conglomerate. Howard has had enough. Haunted by the voice of his deceased mother, harangued and harassed by his ex-lover/boss, and desperate to be a part of the Consortium of Evil, he feels the need to take quick action. The Consortium of Evil is an organization in which his father, whom he never met, supposedly belonged. Angry over his job and desiring to catch the attention of the Consortium, Howard comes up with a diabolical plan that involves creating a serum that will turn his co-workers into zombies. Since his job as a chemist involves designing new coffees, he decides the best way to enact his revenge will be to put the serum in the coffee makers at work. His mission brings some interesting people into his life, including a voodoo queen, an ancient professor, and a zombie. Howard is in for one interesting ride, especially when he starts realizing that things are not going to go exactly as he planned.
I really enjoyed the dark humor in this novel. Understanding the protagonist’s desire to get back at the people around him, I enjoyed following along on his misadventures. The mysterious characters that enter into his life, add so much more dimension to the story. The author has an extremely creative imagination and I enjoyed how her quirkiness kept throwing me off guard. Reading “The Robusta Incident,” by Jennifer Fales will have you both squirming in your seat and laughing out loud.