Immoral Origins, a review by Sherry

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Immoral Origins
Lee Matthew Goldberg

276 pages
Rough Edge Press
Published June 14, 2022

Amazon | Goodreads

It seems this is the first book in the desire card series.  Set in the late 70s, I loved all of the pop culture and NYC references.  While plotwise there really wasn’t anything similar, the tone reminded me a little of Moonlighting.  I read it in one sitting and loved the twists.  It got me more than once.

Action packed and a wild ride is the best way I can describe this one.  With just a little bit of romance, a moblike organization is at the center.  They grant wishes for just about anything.  But as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Told only from one point of view, you know and see only what Gabe, the main character, does.  This is an interesting choice since Gabe can be a little narrow minded and not always as observant as he should be in the criminal world.

If you like the 70s vibe, and a story filled with criminals and twists, you will like this one.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the series.

About the book:

It’s 1978 in New York City, and disco is prominent. As are mobsters, gritty streets, needle parks and graffiti-stained subways.

Jake Barnum lives in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s a petty thief selling hot coats with his buddy Maggs to make ends meet and help his sick kid brother. At a Halloween party downtown, he meets a woman with a Marilyn Monroe mask who works for an organization called The Desire Card-an underground operation promising its exclusive clients “Any Wish Fulfilled for the Right Price.”

As Jake becomes taken with its leader, a pseudo father and sociopath at heart, he starts stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. In other words…himself. But as he dives deeper in with the Card, begins falling love with Marilyn, and sees the money rolling in, clients’ wishes start becoming more and more suspect-some leading to murder.

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