Friday, November 4, 2016

All that We Touch (First Kiss Mystery #3) by Ray Else

American, Texan, Parisian.
Ray Else lived in Paris for 5 years and while there joined a writers group and dared to write with all his heart. A review published by the Sorbonne included his story "Surviving on Mexican Shade", and the BBC World Service broadcast that same story worldwide. Then he got busy making a living as a programmer for companies like IBM and Rocket Software.

Recently Ray returned to writing with some success. His short story, "First Kiss", was published by Galley Beggar Press in the UK. The characters in that story inspired his new crime/love triangle/mystery series called First Kiss that includes "Bathing with the Dead", set in India, "Her Heart in Ruins", set in Peru, and "All that we touch" which is set in Europe.

Ray has a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.A. in Technical Instruction / Film History. He is married with 4 grown kids and 11 grandkids.

Ray travels widely, to get inspiration for his books - you can check out his travel blog at
For fans of Neil Gaiman and Tom Robbins comes this female wolf in sheep's skin tale of a woman born to be sacrificed, or born to kill us all.

Betrayed by her husband on a trip to Paris, crowned with sorrow, Fernanda is stolen away by Turkish thugs on a train across Europe. A taciturn FBI agent, along with his new acquaintance C.I. Phoebe Mullins of the London police, who happened to be in town investigating stolen Holy Thorns from the Crown of Thorns, get pulled into the pursuit.

Thrown into a prison for the criminally insane, Fernanda is put on trial before the Patrons of the Sacred Trust for being a dangerous heretic, a kind of human weapon of mass destruction. Unjustly accused, she must make a decision that could impact not only her baby but all mankind.
Honesty comes first: Do not attempt at reading the book unless you have read books one and two... It is full of references to the two previous titles and it might get you confused. It took a while to get on track with all allusions, but after a while I was completely involved in the story. 
It is told through dialogues, which makes it perfect play lovers, Thus, there is lots of open page space and the 200 plus pages fly by quickly. The quirky characters are gradually developed via their continued musings and sometimes inane repartee. Overall the structure and inherent seductive strangeness is somewhere between Robbin's "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues .." and Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49". It is a highly addictive read.
It is indeed a very enjoyable read, with unique voice and engaging prose... so much that it almost took me of guard. My expectations weren't very high to begin with, but I was astonished at the fluency of the narrative. I was expecting another cheesy novel, but it showed to be way deeper than that. Religion, morality - all themes that are never to easy to engage in the novel popped in-between the lines, to engage me.
So many questions, and so many small twist and turns in this book. It's hard to review it without giving away too much, or too little. I do wish I had read the prior books first, I was a bit behind on a few things that seem to have been covered in them.
It definitely echoes Dan Brown, as it is a very alluring read, it fell a bit flat in the ending, but maybe the reason is there is book four in the writing?! I hope so. It is not a read for everyone, but I believe it will find its public. Different, daring and enjoyable.