The Poe Consequence
Black Opal Books (2020)
Reviewed by Rachael Rodgers (12/2020)
In “The Poe Consequence” by Keith Steinbaum, readers follow Warren, Kevin, and Seth Palmer in a story of family, loss, forgiveness, and redemption. When Kevin’s brother, Warren, is killed by rival gangs, Kevin’s life is turned upside down as he becomes the legal guardian of his nephew, Seth. Kevin struggles with his addiction to alcohol and his relationships begin to suffer, including his job at a newspaper outlet. But, things start to change when he meets Seth’s new, very attractive tutor named Veronica. As their relationship begins to form we learn of events from her past and that her brother, Alex, is in a gang that played a part in Warren’s murder. Can Kevin and Seth get over their trauma with gangs and let Veronica in? Can Veronica trust Kevin?
I think Keith Steinbaum did a great job of telling this story and I really enjoyed how all of the events unfolded and came back together. He writes very well and I appreciated his vocabulary and the imagery in this story. This story had just the right amount of suspense, mystery, and romance for my taste. Keith Steinbaum’s previous life working in landscape in southern California really showed throughout this novel and I enjoyed seeing a little of his life shine through this book. I wasn’t surprised to learn he is a professional lyricist or a poet and his talent was very apparent in this novel.
While I really enjoyed this story, I was not a fan of the very strong language throughout this novel. This book is definitely for adults only with the heavy profanity and adult situations like rape, murder, and gang violence. This book grew on me the more I read on, and I would like to read more books by Keith Steinbaum, if the language calms down a good bit. I would like to see a future publication following Seth or Alex and how their lives have progressed.