The Syncopated Heart
Douglas J. Keeling
Outskirts Press (2020)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (12/2020)
5*An Edgy Suspenseful Romance to Keep you Up at Night
“The Syncopated Heart” by Douglas J. Keeling, is a well-paced mystery with accessible characters, interesting settings, and a riveting plot. Sometimes international suspense thrillers can get bogged down in too many subplots or unbelievable circumstances, but this book is the perfect example of how to do it right. This author has taken the genre and made it into a personal story of a man struggling with life’s problems as they come upon him.
As you read about main character Michael McCann, you will meet each problem as the character does, and will wonder how he’ll get through it. Paris, The City of Lights, plays a big role in the novel, and is like a character itself as McCann finds himself in seemingly impossible situations. Most people like second chance stories, and this one is crafted well enough to hold your attention through the scenarios the author has created. Keeling’s descriptions of Paris make you want to be there and cause you to feel as if you really are.
Along with the romance that presents itself to McCann, there is terrorism, law, and his family to deal with. Just when you think you know what will happen, an unexpected twist of events takes place. McCann is trying to take a break and de-stress from his hectic law practice and personal problems, but fate has other ideas. His health puts him at risk due to heart problems, and he has a lot to contend with. I like Keeling’s descriptive writing. It really plays well to the senses and brings the atmosphere and novel to life. I also like how he has the character dealing with multiple issues in his life at once–which is very realistic. You’ll connect with him on a basic level, and although he isn’t perfect, this is what makes the story all the more enjoyable.
For a completely absorbing novel that involves you from the first page, “The Syncopated Heart”, by Douglas J. Keeling, should be at the top of your reading list.