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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Unkind Hours

The Unkind Hours


Publisher: Damn Good Books

Publication Date: 6/7/2018

Format: Kindle

My Rating: 5 Stars + Steven Burns, a former major league baseball player, had the perfect life... until his five-year-old daughter is abducted and murdered. With zero suspects the police are left baffled, and Steven must accept the haunting loss without justice. Until… A shadowy stranger offers Steven an opportunity to exact ultimate revenge. Compelled by fury and grief, Steven finds the stranger’s unspeakable proposition impossible to resist despite fears he's spiraling down a path of no return


My Review


Screenwriter Dwayne Alexander Smith tackled the brutality of slavery with his smashing hit debut, Forty Acres and returns with his latest . . . a strong and powerful second novel THE UNKIND HOURS. Trust me, you will not be able to put this one down, either.

If you loved Smith's controversial debut (which blew me away) Forty Acres (soon to be a movie starring Will Smith- YES! ) landing on my Top 20 Books of 2014 . . . (as much as I did), you are in for a treat!

THE UNKIND HOURS is just as intense in an up close and personal way. Top Books of 2018. An ordinary man with high standards and morals— a loving father, husband, friend, and businessman. Tested. How far would you go to protect your family?

How far will a father go to obtain justice for his daughter?

Proposing many questions, crossing moral lines. What would you do if faced with a similar situation? A desperate need for justice and a pact with the devil never is never as simple as it appears. The book opens with a crazy person. He is out of control. It has been years since he gave in to his urges. He did not get caught. It is time to try it again. No one will catch him even though he has to be careful. Next, we meet a beautiful family of three. Steven Burns, a former baseball star, now married to charming wife Nichole, and they run a highly successful building and remodeling company. They are a power couple, have a beautiful palatial home in California. And their undivided love for their five-year-old daughter, Luna. Luna is a daddy's girl. She loves him and also is crazy about baseball. She can be a princess but loves the game. She has her mother's creativity. They are proud parents. A regular afternoon and Luna is to attend one of her friend's birthday party. Nichole gets called away on a job, so Steven agrees to take her. Of course, he is watching her every move at the park, and then two mothers get into a fight, and he and another dad have to break it up. In a split second, Luna is gone? How could this have happened? She would never go with a stranger. Time goes on, and the police have no answers, and their business is going down the tube and his marriage is falling apart. They soon will lose the house if he cannot get past this obsession to find the person who took his little girl. His wife will leave him if he cannot turn this around. He did not protect his family and he feels he is to blame. He has to do something. The cops are not helping.

Steven thinks he could get back to working on his marriage and business if only he could come face to face with the abductor. He spends his days printing flyers, posting them, and handing out rewards. UNTIL . . . He is about to give up when a stranger appears and offers him a way to come face to face with his daughter's abductor. How could this be? Does he have proof? Who is this crazy guy and can he trust him? The man is calling all the shots and demands control of every move. Does Steven give in or pass up the chance? He is creepy but smart. He may not get this opportunity again. He cannot tell his wife. What will he do when he comes fact with face with this person? However, as with most blackmailers they cannot be trusted.Usually, they come with threats, and they never go away. In Steven's wildest dreams, he would never have predicted how the events would unfold. Is this even right person? Proof? Does he have it in him to do harm to another person? What is his motive? The man with the gloves. In a race against time, he has to protect his family from more than one serial killer. Unpredictable, gripping, and tense —with never a lull in action or suspense. This does not go the way you expect. Surprises await each and every page turn.

WOW! This is one emotional, twisty, and well-written intelligent thriller. These characters are too good to end. You will sympathize with the Burns family, and continue to root for them to the explosive ending. The resilience and power of love and family. What I enjoy about Smith's writing —he never ties up the ending neatly with a bow. He leaves you satisfied and entertained; however, there is a lingering question, doubt, suspicion, or something else to come. (we can only hope). Just when you think you can breathe, the author throws you another curve you do not see coming. (Another movie-worthy novel). Hats off to talented Smith for two in a row! (I am a huge fan of this author if you have not noticed). Do not start reading until you carve out the time. There will be no sleeping. For fans of the movie Death Wish (starring Bruce Willis), and Paul Cleave's Five Minutes Alone. Buy Now! Move this one to the top of your list if you are looking for a twisty suspense thriller. I have read the digital copy and ordered the paperback copy to add to my collection. Available Now in Kindle and Paperback! Spread the word. Now, all your fans are dying for a sequel to Forty Acres! As long as it takes, we will be waiting. It will be worth the wait. JDCMustReadBooks

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Top 20 Books June 2018


Dwayne Alexander Smith

About the Author

Born in Harlem. Raised in the South Bronx.

I decided that I wanted to make movies after seeing Star Wars. Clichéd but true.

My mother bought me a Super 8 camera. I made an animated short titled SHOES that won me a scholarship to a summer long filmmaking camp.

After film camp I went to college for electrical engineering but dropped out, against my mom's wishes, to pursue my dream of making movies. My first job in the industry was at Camera Service Center, a film equipment rental house in New York City.

While I was making 16mm shorts in my spare time I went on to work as a locations assistant on numerous feature films such as Money Train and HBO’s Subway Stories.

I started writing screenplays in an attempt to earn enough money to finish Doomsday Stew, my first feature film. I never did finish my feature but one of my screenplays, Joe’s Last Chance, sold to Intermedia. After that… doors in Hollywood began to open.

Today I earn a living as a professional screenwriter represented by Resolution and Circle of Confusion. I have sold or optioned six spec screenplays and I have been hired by studios for numerous rewrites. Currently I have two movies in post-production, Stuck and The Closet. Both are due to be released in 2014.

About three years ago, between screenwriting jobs, I decided to write the novel Forty Acres. To my surprise and delight my first novel found a home at Atria Books. Forty Acres was released on July 1st 2014.

The Unkind Hours to launch June, 2018. Read More

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