Our Frail Disordered Lives
Mary M. Schmidt
May 16, 2018
LuLu Publishing
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

At Hellnotes, we want to offer you reviews of vastly terrifying tales, but that is just one facet of what we do. There is also room here for unique tales by authors who write totally original books that latch on to your brain and don’t let go. One such writer is Mary M. Schmidt, the brilliant mind behind the novel Our Frail Disordered Lives. This book includes both demons and cats, along with a pigheaded man, some powerful sisters, a fool, and a cameo by the Devil himself. Can I get a “Hell, yeah?” Well, allll righttt! Before we go any further, let me say that I really enjoyed this book and think our readers will too. Buckle up, friends, we’re going to Hell!

The main demon in this surprise-filled book is named Roach or, when in human form, Johnny LaRoche. His name is NOT Mr. Stink Bug. Sorry, I can’t reveal the reason why you should know that, but it is important in the grand scheme of Our Frail Disordered Lives. Roach works for Satan, who, unlike the way we often see him in movies, is your typical grumpy boss. He’s never happy with his employees’ performances and has no class. So when Roach shows him the paperwork on his latest soul acquisition, one Larry Kavanaugh, self-proclaimed attorney, Old Scratch reads him the riot act. Roach is tired of getting zero thanks for what he does and decides to go rogue.

Helping him do this difficult thing, is his pal Scorch. Not only is Scorch a great friend, he’s also the IT specialist in Hell. Hey, it’s a modern world everywhere these days! Nobody can get by without the internet, especially Satan. People get up to some pretty naughty stuff in the virtual universe! Like Roach, Scorch is tired of being treated like a plate full of dirty holy water. Together, they get up to some grand mischief, but Roach has a target and something to prove. He’s not going to let Larry Kavanaugh get away with making him look bad! You can bet your brimstone on that!

But life in the human world is even more complicated than Roach imagined. He can’t just take on one person; Kavanaugh’s got a family. Still, it doesn’t take long for Roach to get his ducks in a row, especially with the help of Scorch. Just as he gets his hooks into Kathleen, Larry’s wife, things take a sudden downward turn. Well, depending on how you look at it. For some, it’s a great thing when Kathleen’s sister Grace comes for an extended stay in the Kavanaugh home. She even brings along her two cats, Dante and Virgil. Larry and Roach are stuck singing the blues, but not for long. Here comes Dorothy Marie Walsh!

Things pick up speed and fortunes go up and down like a roller coaster. Roach may land in the victor’s circle and Larry might make a million with his golden goose. But one thing is for certain, you can’t beat the power of sisterly love! Also, if anyone out there is still questioning the magical powers of cats, Our Frail Disordered Lives will set you straight, once and for all. If you don’t have a cat, now might be the time to adopt a couple to make sure that you’re protected! ***

This a great book that rates FIVE STARS and a solid recommendation from this reviewer! A fun, imaginative read which shows us that life can be rather similar whether you’re above or below the ground. Our Frail, Disordered Lives is refreshingly different and full of empowering approaches to bullying, greed, and facing the truth. Often laughter is the best medicine against fear.

Our Frail Disordered Lives is currently available from LULU.com, Amazon, and your favorite booksellers. This is a great book for cat lovers, horror fans, and anyone who enjoys a good story. The pace is perfect and makes this novel a pleasure to read!

To learn more about Mary M. Schmidt and Roach, please visit her site: http://roachthedemon.wordpress.com Thanks for reading!

*** Fun fact: Tomorrow, Saturday, August 17th, 2019, is the National Clear the Shelters Day. Go adopt your new best friend!


About Brian James Lewis

Brian James Lewis is a published poet and writer who enjoys reviewing speculative fiction and dark poetry. With all the great emerging writers, magazines, and presses, it is exciting to be part of this growing community! Word of mouth and keyboard is more important than it’s ever been, because readers want to know about books before they buy. It makes Brian feel great to see writers he’s reviewed become successful and their work go on to win awards! Whatever happens, he’s always glad to offer encouragement and increase visibility of writers who trust him with their work. You can catch up with Brian on Twitter @skullsnflames76 or on his WordPress blog damagedskullwriterandreviewer.com

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