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Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

In a great new read by debut author Dane Schiffmann, The Black Chamber, readers will be kept on the edge of their seats as they obsessively turn the pages of this highly addictive thriller. Follow the story of protagonist, FBI agent Jennifer Kingsley, as she deals with one of the most difficult points of her life. Professionally discredited, Kingsley feels alone and despondent. She starts down the path of investigating a murder, and soon finds that the case involves so much more, including electronic espionage and terrorism. She needs to depend on a man she doesn’t trust, Jack Harmon, and get to the bottom of the terrorist cell they seem to have uncovered within the United States. When they stumble upon a secret organization well hidden in the bureaucracy of the government, the Black Chamber, they also need to team up with NSA Department Chief Tom Mallory. Will the group be able to defeat the terror that may lurk from within? You’ll need to read the book to find out.

I found The Black Chamber to be a unique, interesting and highly entertaining read. Author Dane Schiffmann has done a great job in creating realistic and exciting characters, especially that of Jennifer Kingsley, as well as a story line that is an absolute roller coaster from the start to the finish. Any reader who loves a great thriller, one full of twists, turns and action, should absolutely read The Black Chamber. I highly recommend this book, and I hope to read more from the very promising new author, Dane Schiffmann, in the very near future!

Dane Schiffmann’s THE BLACK CHAMBER is a rather taut and interesting thriller. At first glance, I actually didn’t think I would enjoy it much, as it looks like a fairly standard crime novel. But the strength of the book is Schiffmann’s characterization, particularly in the character of Jennifer Kingsley. I would guess that pretty much since the creation of Clarice Starling in Thomas Harris’s THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and its subsequent film, the female FBI agent has become something of a cliché, but happily, Schiffmann doesn’t really rely on any of the standard tropes that have followed in Starling’s wake, and he creates a believable protagonist we’re willing to follow. The plot is fairly dense and labyrinthine; the reader has to stay on his or her toes in order to keep track of everything. If there’s one complaint I have about the novel, it’s that it’s perhaps a little bit too long—I don’t really think any trimming of actual plot is required (and I don’t think it’s even possible, given the density of the plot), but some scenes could be shortened and made smoother. But in general, I like the gist of the book quite a bit, and am thoroughly creeped out by the Black Chamber itself.

—-   Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.