Reviews

“If it’s in your DNA…”

Imagine on your own genome a pattern to the amino acids that would cause you to be marked to the lineage of great kings and glorious queens. Perhaps a lineage back to say, Cleopatra. Or more recently, Napoleon. There would be much pride and celebration I suppose. What if you were linked to McCartney or Lennon?

Now suppose that same genome led you back to nefarious times; back to dark and sinister criminals – back to gangsters and swindlers and worse – murderers in the time of prohibition on the streets of Chicago. That DNA would be most dangerous. And just suppose you didn’t even know you had it in you. You were not aware of why “they” were after you and your loved ones.

So goes DNA, the wonderfully written novel by Gary Brahl. The tale of a crime committed in the present and solved with knowledge from the past. Brahl’s first novel not only satisfies the thriller audience, it transcends the genre.

If it is in your DNA, “they” are going to hunt you down, because of “who you are.” But who are “they” and why do “they” want you dead?  If it is in your DNA to solve this riddle, then DNA is truly the book, and Brahl the writer for you.

John Crawley
Novelist & Author of 11 Books
Including Soon-to-Be-Released ‘The Myth Makers’

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Tired of living in the boring old 21st century? Gary Brahl’s DNA is a wild ride back through time. Mysterious genes, deadly gangsters and snappy dialogue keep the pages turning. DNA is a thrilling good time.

Larry Herold, Playwright, Author of ‘The Sports Page’

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The world lives by definitions, and each of us has his or her own for whatever is being described. Sprawling arguments have raged historically about the definitions of popular fiction and literary fiction, suggesting that never the twain could meet. Meet they do in Gary Brahls’ new novel, DNA. Subtle and savvy dips into genealogical traits mixed with smash-mouth, well-targeted characterizations gives the reader a wonderfully hybrid lit/pop piece of fiction. Gary knows what he’s doing, and he delightfully forces the reader to wonder about the biological gifts or curses he or she has received from the past. A good read, however you define it.

Gary D. Swaim, Ph.D.
2011 Texas Senior Poet Laureate
Minnie Stevens Piper Professor of Excellence for the State of Texas

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DNA delivers a thriller’s twists and turns and the psychological insights of a literary novel. As the hero, Michael, finds himself unexpectedly launched on a search for his identity, action flashes from the gritty underside of contemporary Chicago to its violent past, sepia-toned and blood-spattered. The comedy of Michael’s everyday life at a PR firm serves as light counterpoint to the darker, scarier stuff of the main plot. Brahl has written a suspense novel that will engage your emotions even as it gets your heart racing.

Hope Coulter
Author, Poet, Instructor of Creative Writing, Hendrix College

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Gary Brahl’s debut will capture your imagination. Commencing with a day that exists in everyone’s life, a series of unavoidable and unbelievable events create the mystery. You can’t avoid being caught in the cascade of emotions. Put on the coffee because your going to be up all night. Peel the pages back and reveal how genetically inherited sins are accompanied by equally instinctive skills for overcoming.

Dennie Brown

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