THE FOX: Mike, Hilda, and the Green Emerald Cafe Inferno
In The Fox: Mike, Hilda, and the Green Emerald Café Inferno, Chief John J. Mandeville has woven a tale from the perspective of Lt. Mike “Rooter” Mose of the NYFD. Chief Mandeville’s novel received the first-place category prize in the 2016 Somerset awards. With the reading of a book of short stories, Lt. Mose recounts his experiences with various fire departments as stories for his audience. The reader will learn about Mike and his life, along with other notable characters, such as O’Hara and “Johnny Boy” Simonetti and their charade to sneak into a highly-publicized, sold-out boxing match. The reader will learn about fire chiefs and how they feel they must handle situations, along with the unusual situations, besides fighting fires, that the fire department must combat. According to a part in the book, depending on whom you talk to, firefighters might have a bad image among some people; they may be seen with lower morals than others; fireman McDuff is an example in a story that pertains to these low-morale individuals.
Hilda is a tale in itself of a lady in NYC who wants nothing more than the high-life, but must be content to just dream about it as the result of a middle-class salary. Hilda finds herself immersed with a group of older women whom all live the high-life, making Hilda the odd-ball. Through schemes involving less-than-honorable ideas, she concocts ways to make money to climb higher up the ladder to riches, including the purchase of a fur.
In-between the stories, the reader will learn about The Fox (Number One), and his journey from being a cub with his parents, to becoming a parent to cubs of his own. Throughout his years of growing up, The Fox has only had interactions with his family, birds, and four-legged creatures that live around him. When a stranger appears in his home, he must quickly figure out what this means for his family as well as himself. The final tale of Mike’s involves the unlikely meeting of all three main characters in the Emerald Green Café, and all having to deal with the effects of its inferno.
Mandeville’s novel is a page-turner, with many situations happening to keep the reader’s attention. While the overall text is entertaining and can be understood clearly, the way it is written makes it difficult at times to read (too many commas in sentences and hyphens needed throughout). However, after reading the whole composite of stories, I feel that the ending was appropriate, given the information from throughout the stories, and it ties everything together with more details given of the three main characters’ lives. I would recommend this book to anyone because it’s not a one-genre kind of story.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||Chief John J. Mandeville|
|Page Count||142 pages|
|Publisher||Amazon Kindle Ebooks|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|