Publishers Weekly: Tangent Games cofounders Habiger and Kissee kick off their supernatural noir series with this slim, atmospheric entry,
which begins, “Al Capone murdered me tonight.” After that deathbed declaration, Saul Imbierowicz narrates events leading up to his murder,
beginning when his girlfriend Moira is killed in the crossfire of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Saul has no time to grieve; as a newly
hired postal service worker, he has an opportunity to steal evidence from the Feds that might incriminate Capone, and if he doesn’t do it,
rival gangsters will execute his family. Bad turns weird when Moira rises from the dead and a “love bite” becomes something more. The premise
invokes classic black-and-white noir, while lurid supernatural details add a touch of blood red. The story is grounded in Jewish culture, and
readers unfamiliar with Yiddish may occasionally struggle, as it’s liberally peppered throughout the narrative. The setup for a sequel is
intriguing and will keep readers coming back for more of Saul’s supernatural adventures.
Joseph S. Pete, Clarion Review:
Unremarkable, a thriller written by Tangent Games cofounders Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee, blends genres to tell an enthralling story about
an ordinary man who gets in over his head in an increasingly perilous underworld.
Opening with the powerful and intriguing line “Al Capone murdered me tonight,” this gangland noir novel follows 1920s Chicago postal worker
Saul Imbierowicz, whose mistress Moira gets seemingly randomly shot during the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Saul gets mixed up in a
citywide feud between Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and the feds. Though grounded in a convincing historical accuracy, the book takes a supernatural
turn, and vampires soon bare their fangs.
Compelling writing depicts action such as police raids with tension and intrigue. Gunfights are captivating, dramatized but not romanticized;
they show the human toll. Unremarkable makes its threats feel real, as when Capone angrily beats up Saul, pulling no punches.
Saul gets an in-depth characterization. He’s unsparingly self-deprecating when taking Moira out to a speakeasy, writing himself off as a
skinny average Joe who’s “not very tall.” His arc is well-plotted and satisfying. Other characters do not get as much shade or nuance, in some
cases serving as straightforward antagonists with little inner life of their own.
Dialogue motors the story forward and often seems realistic, though long stretches of expanded quotations come to seem like a crutch. Even so,
the dialogue advances the narrative and comes across as appropriate to the historical era.
Unremarkable feels a little unsure about its Chicago backdrop, throwing out the Uptown neighborhood’s Green Mill Cocktail Lounge as a setting
perhaps one too many times. The ironic characterization of the Chicago River as, in quotes, “picturesque” strikes an anachronistic chord—it
was not then; it is very much so now. Though generally well-crafted, settings lean on stereotypes, as when one of the ubiquitous mobsters
threatens a character with becoming “just one more unremarkable victim of our city’s violent culture.” Such knocks on the otherwise vivid
setting are common.
Native Chicagoans will find much to nitpick, though the book is obviously well researched. For other audiences, Unremarkable shines. It is an
entertaining story that isn’t confined by the shackles of stale genre conventions. Its interesting forays into the criminal underworld and
vampiric intrigues captivate, and it takes a notably clever approach to what could easily have become a tired tale.
Unremarkable is, in fact, remarkable. It is a thrilling gangland drama that reveals unexpected supernatural depths.
E-Book version now available!
Unremarkable is available as a downloadable e-book from Amazon Kindle for only $2.99.
Or you can download a copy for other formats from Smashwords.
You can also download a sample of the book at Smashwords.