Sometimes the cream really does rise to the top. Such is the case with Chris Culver’s The Abbey, a well-written, engaging novel that has become a national bestseller.
This thriller follows Detective Ash Rashid as he searches for answers after his teenaged niece’s mysterious death. Ash is Muslim in a way that many Americans will not recognize: a secularized semi-alcoholic man who just wants to live his version of the American dream. To put it another way, he is the Muslim equivalent of a C&E Christian; he prays more out of habit than faith and twists his faith’s teaching on alcohol to fit his circumstances. His niece is also a less-than-faithful Muslim, whose taste for adventure leads her to an untimely death.
This is one of the best indie novels I have read, full stop. Culver’s writing style is fluid and compelling. Every character – even the ones who only had walk-on parts – felt authentic and fleshed out. Although I spotted one continuity issue, it was a minor point. With just a few grammatical errors (mostly having to do with the proper use of hyphens), this book qualifies as an excellent read.
Chris Culver has revived my interest in reviewing indie authors. If only all indie writers took as much pride in their work as he does, we would gain the respected position in the literary world to which we aspire.