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‘A Smear of Rage’
THE SEINE VENDETTA by Ann Sterzinger

From Storm Rhino Press

Ann Sterzinger’s The Seine Vendetta is an unpleasantly textured novella set in 2019 France.

The prologue fittingly launches the reader into the septic guts of a disemboweled nation, from the pained perspective of authentic change and specific loss embodied in the passage below:

“But a decade of terrorist tragedy had awoken the city’s horrible past, like one’s first beer on a brutal hangover, stirring up all the headless ghosts, sending them howling through the sewers, like the metabolites of a shot of Ricard, and making of it once again the best city in the world for bitterly mourning your dead.”

Sterzinger wastes no time setting the sullied stage, but rather has the protagonist stumble across it like a hung over lover jilted by the very night before rather than by a specific villain.”

The protagonist, Lisa, is a small American woman whose French husband has been killed by a pack of drunken Algerians and her inner rasp for revenge is the fuel that powers this refreshingly direct story with the outrage of, “a thousand griefs,” providing a sense of the antisocial that easily crosses gender lines in the mind.

The nuance in The Seine Vendetta is provided by the texture of the human life afloat in the sea of betrayal which is Western Civilization, so starkly indicted by setting the story in the nation which was the mistress of modernity and is now its ravaged crone. Lisa is a painfully believable woman who finds the hate necessary to edit the lie that has been scripted for her. With a story pace that brings the reader along on a realistically brief spasm of heroic despair, from the vantage of a wounded soul yearning to bloom monstrously dark, the dark and easy reading served as a pleasing tonic for the banality of this beautiful May Day on which I pondered that just read the night before.

The Seine Vendetta is a well much deeper than a classic tale of retribution. Taking advantage of the feminine perspective, rather than writing Lisa as a cute super soldier, Ann Sterzinger gives the reader a tour of the falling West as it crumbles from the vantage of one of its most compromised components, a widowed woman in a world that wants to die.

Check out Ann Sterzinger’s The Seine Vendetta at the link below:

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