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Rondal J Starkey

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A Taste for Vengeance
by Rondal J Starkey   

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Publisher:  Southern Charm Press ISBN-10:  0970853785 Type: 


Copyright:  Jan 12 2002

An array of characters - and their varied lives - are all drawn to a shared climax as a dying, bitter old man seeks to execute his horrendous plans against the inmates of the Texas state prison system. Though each is searching for answers to his/her own personal situations, all are pulled inextricably into involvement with his plot. This is a story with a different take on just who the villian may be.

Barnes &
Southern Charm Press

One man, wealthy and politically powerful, plots to assassinate all the inmates in the Texas state prison system in a single, horrific night. Driven by vengeance for his daughter's murder and frustration with the growing criminal problems of the state, he sets his plan into action in the waning days of his life. His existence has been influenced by the knowledge of a harrowing birth of twins, as it was retold to him many times as a child, in which he was the only survivor. Dual personalities result from his inauspicious beginnings - one good, one evil with the darker side gaining dominance.

A detective, with his own nightmarish links to the plotter, discovers hints of the plan and attempts to stop it. In his confrontation with the old man, will he be able to do so? Will he even want to as the possibilities address his own principles and opinions?

Unknown to the aged schemer until the final moments, someone close to him is imperiled by the plot. Can love of family overcome hatred for the condemned?

Others, villains and innocents, alike, are embroiled in the prevention or execution of the act. Texas, Lebanon and Vietnam are all involved in bringing a widely disparate cast of characters to their shared conclusions.


Of course, there would be survivors. He had to believe that. No matter how extensive the carnage, how deeply the damage permeated the whole, there must be those who would escape with their lives. Some, likely incurring injury but surviving. Others, completely unscathed by the disaster surrounding them. Surely there would be those.
Pressing just above a thick, hoary brow, a wrinkled hand supported his aged head. Tears poised, unnoticed, on time etched eyelids. The large, gray head shook slowly, sadly, from side to side, then stopped. Through the meager early morning light that filtered into the office, unfocused eyes glared toward a richly paneled wall while a scene, imagining the catastrophe, played out in the theater of his mind. A spectacle of devastation, bloated with inhuman death and the hellish suffering of countless victims, occupied the stage of his imagination. In actions portrayed in brilliant variegated grays and dark shadows, he watched ghostly human forms lilting surreally through the choreography of a holocaust.

Professional Reviews

Riveting Tale
"A Taste for Vengeance" is Ron Starkey's first novel, and hopefully the first of many to come. With characters that could come right off the 10:00 news, this compelling story weaves a tale of intrigue and murder that keeps you hungry for the next page. Like a fine dessert, the ending will leave you satisfied, and maybe even feeling a little guilty for having enjoyed it. Mr. Starkey can certainly spin a yarn!

Great read
A bizarre host of characters, and a wildly unpredictable series of events, combine to create an engaging tale that will dare the reader not to turn the next page. I burned through this book in two days, even with a full schedule.

First book-First rate
In a story that exposes what people are capable of, Ron takes you on a journey from curious to fascinated, and you arrive at the end both appalled and uplifted. This book will have you watching the news, wondering if it will be today's headlines.

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