Astrid Fiano. Gabriel’s World: The Hanged Man. Self-published, 2012. PB. 494p. $16.99. 978-0-985700-1-0.
In this first book of the planned Gabriel’s World series, 36-year-old Gabriel Ross, a licensed New York City private investigator, devout Buddhist, and righter of wrongs, is hired by lawyer and philanthropist Raymond Booth to investigate an incident involving Nazis at his charitable foundation. Soon after he is hired, Ross finds Booth dead at his home, apparently of a botched BDSM encounter. Sensing something is wrong with the scene, Ross is hired by Booth’s sister and his lawyer to investigate Booth’s death, drawing him into a much larger and more sinister secret than anyone thought.
Well-researched setting, history, and Nazi culture, the thriller follows Ross as she unravels the secret surrounding an underground organization that influenced Nazism, the Tertullian Society. Ross becomes a target of the organization as he adds an investigation into the original events to his search into Booth’s death.
Ross also faces turmoil on the home front after an ex-boyfriend, Joel, reappears to make amends following several years of absence at the same time that Ross is starting a relationship with news reporter Alex. Juggling two boyfriends, trying to stay safe, and continuing his other jobs, Ross tries to stay sane and alive.
While the storyline is intriguing, the numerous grammatical errors can detract from the reading experience. Although the beginning is slow, the novel picks up speed, drawing the reader in to find out more about this secret society, who killed who, who is involved in the society, and how everything ties together.
The book ends with answers to the questions related to the case, but Ross’s love life is still in the air, leading the reader to look forward to the second book. A website offers additional information such as background, character sketches, short fiction, and interactive components.