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Anna M Shonk

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Member Since: May, 2008

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The Almond Man
by Anna M Shonk   

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Books by Anna M Shonk
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Publisher:  Publish America ISBN-10:  1604749903 Type: 



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The Almond Man, Robert Montgomery begins what he believes to be a predictable almond harvest for the thirtieth time in Delano, a farming community in Central California. While attending to the preparations for the upcoming harvest, Ramon Garcia, Roberts's long time and trusted farm-hand uncovers something that attracts local, state and federal law enforcement to the farm. Meanwhile, Prison Correctional Officer Larry smith is puzzling over the fascination of one of his long term prisoners, Jose Sanchez, with the view of the almond trees outside his window. A view that draws larry's interest to a makeshif diary in the prisoner's cell. Larry's discovery and possession of the diary thrust him into a legal battle that shatters faith in his own profession.
Someone is planning to use Robert's farm once again, as officials in the community scramble to combine their expertise to find the common link to the brutal murders.

The Almond Man was released on June 2, 2008 and is available at stores internationally. google: almond man shonk, or the almond man a.m. shonk

Professional Reviews

"Mystery novel 'The Almond Man' connects with readers through its lovable characters
The Kern County Independent July 24, 2008

Book Review: "Mystery novel 'The Almond Man' connects with readers through its lovable characters."
By Cindy Clark:

A. M. Shonk's debut novel, "the Almond Man" is mystery set in the almond fields of Delano, Calif. This setting provides a unique twist on the classic theme. Some of the best parts of the book are those detailing the setting and life of an almond grower.

Her farmer protagonist is one of the more finely drawn characters. He is based on a real person, and this gives the reader a fuller sense of his personality. His interactions and perceptions color the novel and keep it grounded.

The author combines such diverse elements as the aforementioned almond field, a small town, a maximum security prison and a hospital. This serves to keep the story moving forward, and to give a more complete picture to frame the events.

The book is as much about the mystery as it is about men forming friendships and even familial bonds. The book touches on loneliness, isolation, and connections formed under extreme circumstances.

In writing any book, especially a novel, and most especially a mystery novel, creating sympathetic characters is crucial. When an author is able to make her readers care about the individuals peopling her book, when she is able to create sympathy between the readers and those characters, the fates that befall those characters resonate with the readers. We feel the sense of urgency, the despair, the loneliness and the joy. And that connection is what makes the pages dissolve makes us become involved.

Shonk has created several characters that inspire that sympathy. One in particular, a seemingly unsympathetic character through his fight to survive, becomes almost heroic.

This book offers up one of my favorite and most memorable lines from a mystery novel. I won't tell you what it is, but will give a clue: You only die once.

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