Monday, November 02, 2009

Author Charles Toftoy to Join Podcast This Friday

Be sure to tune into the Writers in the Sky podcast this Friday as our author's assistant Sarah Moore sits down with Charles Toftoy to discuss his new release It's in the Eyes. This book tells the story of a team of private citizens, known as the Alpha Team, who use their diverse set of talents to investigate crimes. Led by a professor named Lars Nielsen, the team is now hoping to solve the recent murders of coeds in Washington, D.C. These murders, inspired by the Thuggees of several centuries ago who terrorized India, have the entire region gripped by fear.

Dr. Toftoy brings a rich background in academics, business, and the military to his plot and the characters found on the pages of It's in the Eyes.

Please visit the Amazon website to purchase It's in the Eyes.

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: It’s in the Eyes
Author: Charles Toftoy
ISBN: 978-1-4327-1196-2
Genre and Target Market: thriller; fiction; criminal psychology
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 312

Book Review by Sarah Moore

You know that you’ve hit the literary jackpot when you find a novel that combines several of your interests into one great story. For example, someone who enjoys reading about both sports and romance may be intrigued by a book that features the long-distance relationship between a football star and his girlfriend. Or, perhaps you prefer a book with a science-fiction focus that also includes military confrontations. For me, I found a great synthesis of setting and plot in the new release It’s in the Eyes by Dr. Charles Toftoy. This thriller is set in my hometown of Washington, D.C. and features academia, action, and suspense. Knowing this information gave me high expectations before I even read the first page, and I was not disappointed.

It’s in the Eyes grabs the readers immediately by placing us at a crime scene that is central to the entire plot and whose victim returns posthumously throughout the book to motivate the self-proclaimed detectives to solve her murder. Readers quickly learn that there is a series of murders of young women who attend universities in the Washington, D.C. area. These crimes have created uneasiness among the population and a sense of urgency in the Arlington Police Department. Lars Neilsen, a college professor with very personal reasons for wanting to catch the predator responsible for these gruesome deaths, assembles his “Alpha Team” of experts to piece together clues and hopefully end the violence.

One of Dr. Toftoy’s greatest strengths in his writing is his ability to select language that creates a sense of tension in the readers. While the murderer remains anonymous for most of the novel, we are let into his mind periodically as the story unfolds. His narcissism and lack of emotion for any of the pain he has caused is quite disturbing. As he ponders the fate of his next victim, you want to find the woman yourself and warn her before it is too late. The author maintains this sense of discomfort by revealing just a little more about the criminal and his motivations with every chapter. With such a well-developed mystery, I often found myself nervous as I turned the page because the next event was either so shocking or revealing. And, I will simply say that I did not see the ending coming at all. It’s in the Eyes is a suspense novel from beginning to end.

For those who have not been to Washington, D.C., Dr. Toftoy does a wonderful job of illustrating everyday life in that world capital. By providing details like the traffic reporter of the local news station, favorite eateries, and the feel of the diverse neighborhoods, you really get a sense of the environment in which the characters live. And, the decision to include what Lars Neilsen and the other members of his Alpha Team prefer to eat at the local Silver Diner or drink at the Capitol City Brewing Company drives home the idea that these are ordinary private citizens with whom all of us can relate. It just so happens that they are choosing to put themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

The author of It’s in the Eyes, Dr. Charles Toftoy, brings a wealth of academic and business experience to his writing. I hope that he finds the opportunity to put this great background into another novel soon. It’s in the Eyes is a complex thriller that combines history, action, strong character development, believable dialogue, and a plot that will keep you guessing. If you enjoy curling up with a compelling mystery, this is most certainly a book for you.

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