Books Magazine

Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Bushel

By T.v. Locicero

Okay, far be it from me to argue with a classic old saying that apparently goes all the way back to Matthew (5:14-16) in the New Testament:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

The problem is we live in the Era of Snow-Blindness, a time when all of us are enveloped by the digital blizzard, with screens of all sizes shimmering in every corner and the Net buzzing insistently in our pockets. So even if we remove that bushel and allow our light to shine brightly, who’s going to see it?

To shift the metaphor with another old saw, how about Tooting My Own Horn? I mean, who else is going to toot it? Well, actually a number of kind folks have blown flattering notes my way lately. But this is also the Age of Noise-Induced-Deafness, when our ears are afflicted with a cacophony of voices all screaming to be heard.

Look, all this is a self-conscious preamble to my offering, as a public service, of course, a sampling from recent reviews. Actually, I was encouraged in this by an experience I had last month. Across five days in December with a free-book promotion through Amazon’s Kindle Select, I gave away almost 12,000 e-copies of my four books.

What stunned me was that more than 10,000 of those downloads were of two books that are more than 40-years-old.

Now if you know the tale of those books (it’s right on the Home page of this site)—Murder in the Synagogue and Squelched, the story of its suppression—you’ll understand why I felt that every bit of time and effort it took to e-publish them was suddenly worthwhile. Yes, I haven’t made a penny on those books and probably never will. But knowing they’re in the hands of so many readers who wanted them? As the commercial says, “Priceless!”

Fewer people downloaded the novels, The Obsession and The Disappearance, but I could tell myself the confounding route to discovery was now just a bit less daunting. Everybody in the book business is looking for ways to enhance this thing called “Discoverability.” As far as I can tell, nobody has a good answer yet. So in any way you can, let the light shine and the horn toot. I’ll start with the novels:

The Obsession

Gone Girl has had a huge impact on the book world since it came out…The Obsession by T. V. LoCicero will be unknown to most people…But both are pacy, gripping narratives about love grown monstrous and out of control…fascinating portraits of gender rancour, or the amazing ability men and women have to love and loathe each other with intensity.”

Victoria Best (aka Litlove) Tales from the Reading Room

(Later, the esteemed Ms. Best followed up by naming The Obsession as one of her two favorite crime novels for 2012—the other was not, by the way, Gone Girl.)

“If you like books that are not only a good read but also give you a geography lesson on a part of Europe you have never visited, this is it…gives you a look into the mind of an evil but intelligent person who has become obsessed with a woman and sinks farther and farther into depravity…a guaranteed good read…”

Barbara Goodreads

“[A] gripping and enthralling story… I hated it every time my train was pulling up at my stop because I knew I had to discontinue reading and all I wanted was to keep my head in the book to discover what happened!…the ending was sudden and comes as quite a surprise, so hold onto your horses, people, you are in for a ride with this book.”

Uncle Book (on his UK book blog)

“Awesome book”

Reza Ade Goodreads

“[V]ery exciting. I was hooked by the time I finished the first chapter. It is very well written, fast moving and suspenseful.”

Barbara Juhl LibraryThing

“[A] a good mystery and I never did guess how the ending would be played out, and that is pretty extraordinary. I am not often that much in the dark about how a book would be wound up by the author.”

Victoria Chance Amazon Reviewer

“[N]ot for the literary faint of heart…this is a powerful engaging story…”

Charlene Mabie-Gamble Literary R&R

 “I was blown away…This is a dark mystery full of plot twists and strong, well-developed characters. The ending truly left me speechless, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring our how a book will end! If you have read any of Mr. LoCicero’s nonfiction, give his fiction a try…you will not be disappointed!”

Comic Book Nerd Amazon Reviewer

“I loved this novel and can’t wait to read the next in the trilogy. Fascinating, complex characters, a story full of surprising twists and a genuinely shocking ending. First rate suspense.”

Kate Amazon Reviewer

The Disappearance

“This is the follow-up to T.V. LoCicero’s The Obsession, and this book is just as beautifully written as the first. The character’s are well developed and believable, the plot is fast-paced and full of unexpected turns, and the ending will leave you impatient for the third installment of this trilogy.”

Comic Book Nerd Amazon Reviewer

“This author knows how to tell a good story while the plot thickens and the suspense builds…a master at weaving a story that is both believable and in which the characters do not perform a lot of acts that would be considered silly or impossible in the real world as so many novels with female protagonists do. It was well worth the read…”

Barbara Goodreads

“[A] worthy follow-up to the great first book in this series. Read The Obsession first and then don’t hesitate to try this one. Great suspense and a very satisfying conclusion.”

Kate Amazon Reviewer

Now for the non-fiction:

Murder in the Synagogue

(Back in 1970, when this true crime book was first published and suppressed, it received a number of comments and reviews that almost nobody saw. Like this from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Coles: “I was absolutely enthralled by it. It’s one of those non-fiction novels that one simply cannot put down.” And this from prominent Jewish reviewer Rabbi Jack Riemer: “A fascinating double-portrait of the Rabbi and his killer that holds the reader spellbound from beginning to end.” The following are from this second time around.)

 “LoCicero has the ability to write about very disturbing situations and people in a detailed, dispassionate, and engrossing manner…[He] ends his fascinating factual presentation with an epilogue in which he speculates over the causes of the young man’s depression and anger, including why he directed his anger against the rabbi who was trying to help him…well-written, factual, and interesting.”

Israel Drazin Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

“[I]t really helps a person understand what could be happening in the minds of today’s mass shooters.”

Shar Amazon Reviewer

Murder in the Synagogue [is]…riveting…a case study of a crime committed decades ago.”

Gabe Amazon Reviewer

“This is perhaps the most detailed account of a brilliant young person’s heartbreaking descent into homicidal madness that I’ve read. Highly recommended for those with a psychological bent and with an interest in the impact of society on the vulnerable young.”

Kate Amazon Reviewer

“The author never lost me and never put me to sleep despite all the discussions of philosophers like Aristotle, Nietsche and others I never got around to reading. By the end LoCicero makes it possible for you to see the situation from so many perspectives, and you understand where the killer was coming from even as you mourn his victim. Well worth the read.”

Eileen McHenry Amazon Reviewer

“In part, Murder in the Synagogue is a tribute to Rabbi Adler, one of the best known and most beloved religious leaders of his era. But mainly it is a richly detailed and sympathetic case study of one man’s descent into mental illness…[T]he book is not at all sensationalistic or exploitative. Rather, it shows great sensitivity toward everyone involved. I hope that it receives some well-deserved attention in Kindle format.”

D.E. Ward Amazon Reviewer

“[A] gripping, fast-paced tale of the murder of Rabbi Morris Adler in the mid 1960s…reads more like a very bizarre novel instead of a true crime work. There are plenty of plot twists, and a very insightful look at mental illness and what drives people to commit unspeakable acts.”

Comic Book Nerd Amazon Reviewer

“Very interesting reading. I love reading about the era in which I grew up, since sometimes I was not paying close enough attention to events that may have shaped our future.”

Nina Sala-Gault Amazon Reviewer

“I found this book a fascinating study of a person with multiple personality disorders…a very complex but ultimately extremely sad character…Also, yet another argument for gun control!!!!”

Gundi Jeffrey Amazon Reviewer

Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue

(Most of this true crime memoir was written four decades ago, but the epilogue was added recently. The following review excerpts are all current.)

“I sat down and read Squelched immediately. It was so absorbing that I could do nothing else until I finished it.”

Jack Riemer, Known as President Clinton’s rabbi

“Although non-fiction, this detailed book reads with the speed of a best-selling fiction novel.”

Israel Drazin Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

Squelched is a fascinating story of corruption… riveting…more like a novel…”

Gabe Amazon Reviewer

“Makes a person wonder how many informative books never make it to market based on pressure from one entity or another who don’t want a certain subject studied. Three cheers for self-publishing e-book authors.”

Shar Amazon Reviewer

“[H]ighly suspenseful, to the point where I almost read the book in one sitting!…reads less like a novel and more like an expose, but is just as riveting. It seems Mr. LoCicero not only writes amazing fiction, but powerful nonfiction as well!”

Comic Book Nerd Amazon Reviewer

“Misconduct by a major publishing house? A chain of lies and dodgy maneuvers keep the author’s first nonfiction work from ever getting off the ground, despite being well-received by almost everyone who (against the odds) manages to read it? And there is nothing unlikely, bizarre or farfetched about any of it. This conspiracy is as pedestrian as pork and beans, and that in itself makes the story utterly believable.”

Eileen McHenry Amazon Reviewer

“[A] good example of the benefits stemming from the recent rise of ebook publishing. When he wrote down his story over 40 years ago, he was not able to find an interested publisher. But today, ebook publishing makes it possible for all of us to tell our stories to a potentially wide audience. After reading Murder in the Synagogue, I enjoyed learning more about the author.”

D.E. Ward Amazon Reviewer

“[A] grab you by the collar and a well written story of business corrupt attitudes and moral values.”

Elliot B. Halberg Amazon Reviewer

“This one’s a surprising read, with a young writer’s compelling account of his publisher’s betrayal of his excellent first book.”

Kate Amazon Reviewer

“I found the conspiracy powerful. The money and influences that came to bare were disturbingly possible and believable. Worth the time to read.”

Mabenach Amazon Reviewer

My deep gratitude to all these readers who took the time to grace my books with their kind and generous thoughts.

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