Strange Robby by Selina Rosen
It may seem like a strange title, but Strange Robby clearly defines the character of Robby Strange in Selina Rosen’s detective/sci-fi novel. Robby is a guy who never had a childhood because he never had a father around and his mother was a drug addict. This left him to help properly raise all of his younger siblings the best that he could even after they escaped their mother’s house in Los Angeles and made it to Shea City. There the kids would be in a safer environment even if their grandmother they were living with wasn’t fully capable of raising the kids. She could at least assist while Robby found a job & earned money to help them survive.
Robby soon discovers that while working he can see into a person as well as an aura abut them that tells him not only if they are a good or bad person, but what their transgressions and sins have been. He also discovers that he has the power to put a stop to these evil people. The police begin looking for a suspect that they have nicknamed “The Fry Guy” while Robby tries to stay out of the spotlight and keep his head down.
Author/Publisher Selina Rosen
The detectives working the homicide cases are Tommy Chan & Spider Webb. The duo has been working together for 15 years and are a well-oiled team. They don’t necessarily play by all the rules to get the job done, but they don’t necessarily break the law. They find loopholes to take out the bad guys who have found loopholes to slip through the justice system. The team is constantly in trouble with their lieutenant. The problem is not with Tommy, who can accept the berating and verbal abuse, but with Spider, an Amazon Warrior at almost six feet tall and a decorated war hero. She is empathic and can tell what people are really feeling as well as “push” them to get an action or reaction that she so desires. She’s also tough as nails while Tommy is an expert martial artist.
As the city looks for answers to The Fry Guy cases, paths cross as the Assistant District Attorney, Carrie Long, not only becomes totally immersed in the case but also in Spider Webb. This is fine by Spider, for the most part, as their love blossoms, although Spider has a lot of baggage, both good and bad, that she has been carrying around and keeps close. Her trust in people is limited.
During the investigation Spider notices something physically in common with Robby - his oversized hands. She can also feel there’s something about him. But she and Tommy also feel that whomever is killing all of these bad guys that are dealing dope to kids and raping people is doing the city more good than bad. The F.B.I. doesn’t feel that way and they believe Spider knows who the murderer is but she refuses to give in. Then a secretive group known as the Special Weapons Task Force (S.W.T.F.) steps in and begins observing. Spider has her own name for the acronym. These are the black ops type of organization guys who make people disappear and can cover all the evidence. They begin pressing Spider and the F.B.I.
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People begin dying, getting wounded and kidnaped all in an effort to try and get Spider to give up the killer. As she and her team soon discover, there is more to this story than just a serial killer out there. The S.W.T.F. is after an experiment they didn’t know existed. Spider is also part of this secret experiment which is news to her. Now she must decide on how to protect her girlfriend, partner and the killer even if it means her own death. But she’s not going down without a fight and the body count starts piling up between the damage that she, Tommy & Robby dish out.
Strange Robby has great pacing, fun dialogue and is a very action-packed story that gets into the psyche of the characters and makes for some thrilling moments. The detective part of the story doesn’t require any who-dun-it skills but it does blur the lines of the bad guys and good guys as well as making the reader wonder what the correlation is between Robby & Spider and how it relates to the government’s experiment. Can’t tell you that because it gives away the story, but if you’re a fan of The X-Files you will probably dig the plot and events.
The book was originally published by a company that has since gone belly-up. Rosen requests that interested readers can purchase the book through her site at Yard Dog Press & E-mailing them from the “How To Order” link.
Rosen will be the Toastmaster at this year's SoonerCon in Oklahoma City, celebrating 15 years of publishing with Yard Dog Press. The Guest of Honor is none other than Texas author Joe R. Lansdale, the man who wrote the story that became a cult film called Bubba Ho-Tep! Both Lansdale and Rosen are a hoot to be around and to listen to them read excerpts from their books, so this is a good chance to meet them, get books signed and also get to meet the other Yard Dog authors and other sci-fi, fantasy and horror authors and artists attending this con.
As a matter of fact, your's truly will be there signing, as well. My first piece of professional fiction appears in the book A Bubba in Time Saves None, the fifth book in Yard Dog's Bubbas of the Apocalypse series whichmakes its debut at SoonerCon 2010.