HAIL MARY, which will be published on May 7, 2020 by Black Rose Writing, is the sequel to EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTIONS by Patti Liszkay. This entertaining novel is a romantic comedy set in present-day Philadelphia.
The colorful characters are a bona fide mixture of what makes up the population in this city. Silvio, the blue-collar plumber from Northeast Philly, Darren, a white-collar real estate agent living in the fancy suburb of New Conshohocken, and Angelo, a questionable, foul-mouthed business owner, are a sample. Liszkay does her native city justice through these characters’ portrayal because they match the city’s grit, new money, bluntness, and corruption. They mirror the blue-collar grit and bluntness in the famous movie, Rocky, but also the new wave of professionals living in the city and its suburbs these days. And, of course, every major city has its share of corruption.
The reader doesn’t have to be from Philadelphia or know extensively about the city to enjoy Liszkay’s writing. Her humor and entertaining plotting make the story unique. Her transitions from one point of view to another are smooth, and the suspense of what will happen to the main character, Trysta, an attractive mother of four, remains until the end. The vocabulary is varied and impressive, too. Secondary characters aside from the ones already mentioned such as Mr. Tilley, the compassionate lawyer representing Silvio’s custody battle, Sally, Silvio’s loyal girlfriend, and Dr. Cavanni, Trysta’s therapist, are nice additions.
The reader is advised to read the first novel, EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTIONS, to understand the beginning of HAIL MARY. It would be difficult to pick up the second novel and understand the characters and plot straight off. Both novels are quick reads, though, and HAIL MARY gives a satisfying end to the duo.