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Political corruption, murder, greed, and betrayal in 1920s Akron
What Drives Good People to Do Something Bad?
As terrible revelations come to light, four people join together to commit an unspeakable act…
When a member of the privileged upper class frames a Polish immigrant for a socialite’s murder in 1920s Akron, the heart-pounding events that follow lead to a stunning and unexpected conclusion. This gripping tale of bigotry and class distinctions includes political corruption, greed, injustice, murder, and betrayal. While Albo Jablonski endures the atrocious conditions of the state penitentiary, his son Nickels, daughter Antonia, and their friends Kurt and Charlie are tormented by the knowledge that he is innocent. Zemsta is a powerful, character-driven story of three boyhood friends during the tumultuous days of Prohibition that explores the meaning of friendship, family, love, and loyalty.
Great Original Story
"Zemsta" by Victoria Brown is a refreshingly original story about three boyhood friends in Prohibition-era Akron, Ohio whose childhood abruptly ends when the father of one is wrongfully imprisoned for murder. Albo Jablonski is a Polish immigrant. He's hardworking, loving, and protective. Father to son Nickels and daughter Antonia, he serves as a surrogate father to his son's friends, Kurt and Charlie. Kurt's father died when he was very young, forcing his mother to work long and exhausting hours running a boardinghouse with his bigoted Aunt Erna. Charlie's Irish Catholic father is a bitter man whose harsh actions fueled by alcohol alienate him from his nine children.
Akron, in the 1920's was a fast-growing center of manufacturing considered the "Rubber Capital of the World." Immigrants arrived daily to find work in its many factories. And like so many American cities at that time, there were distinctions of class, race and religion. It is within this setting and period that Ms. Brown tells her tale replete with memorable characters and interspersed with actual historic events. There is political corruption, greed, injustice, murder and betrayal as each young man grapples with his own inner sense of what it means to become a man. And then there is zemsta. It is a great title to this gripping and entertaining story by this first-time author. You'll have to read the book to get the meaning. Highly recommended.
A Must-Read for Historical Fiction and Suspense Fans!
Masterly crafted and peppered with historical facts, Victoria Brown’s debut novel takes place during the years of Prohibition in the unlikely setting of Akron, Ohio.
Brown knows how to write a fast-paced suspense novel that will keep you reading. Her prose is lean, and the pages move quickly in and out of Cleveland Indians baseball games, the Cotton Club, speakeasies, and bootlegging stills in the Ohio countryside. It’s evident that Brown meticulously researched the era.
Page by page, we grow to know each of the characters more intimately: both the good and the very wicked. The character development in Zemsta is extremely well done. You can feel the strong bond they share with one another.
We know from the beginning that there is a murder. Brown lays it out in the Prologue. But it’s no whodoneit because know early on who the murderer is. What we don’t know is how or when the main characters are going to find out—and what they’re going to do about it when they do. As the plot unfolds, and the details of the murder are revealed, we begin to see what drives people to move over to the dark side. I was on the edge of my seat as the story led up to the heart-pounding conclusion.
This is a great vacation or beach read. Enjoy!
The Story Grabs You and Doesn't Let Go
As a reader of historical fiction, I was intrigued by the premise of Zemsta, and I found the fast-and-loose Prohibition era fascinating. Zemsta gave me an insight into the 1920s and what it was like to be an immigrant at that time.
Set in Akron, OH during the 1920s, the book includes many details of life from this bygone era---of immigrants who worked in the rubber factories, the WCTU, Cleveland Indians baseball games, speakeasies, bootleggers, corruption, and much more.
It's also a story about families: the privileged, immigrants, broken families, and families struggling to survive.
The characters were well thought out, and by the end of the book, I felt as if I knew them, both the good and the bad. Some of the characters I wanted to cheer on, and others I hated, always the mark of a good book
This book has something for everyone. If you like history and suspense, you will thoroughly enjoy Zemsta. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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