Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review/Author Interview/Giveaway: The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin


Title: The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin
Category: Adult fiction, 292 pages
Genre: Suspense / thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Published: September 23, 2014
Available in: Print and e-book (mobi for Kindle) 
Content Rating: R (There are no explicit sex scenes and some graphic violence. There is significant violence that is referenced ( as in past police cases) and violence that is related by characters, second-hand. )

Heads Up Y'all:  If, after reading information in the content rating, you feel this story may not be your cup of tea, please skip down to the AUTHOR INFORMATION section.


Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared. After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony. As she closes in on the killer who has taken Olivia, Rachel becomes his next target.



The Schwarzschild Radius is not a book for the young or faint of heart, as it deals with the sex trade and pedophilia on two continents.  And that's just for starters.`

Thank goodness for Mr. Florentin's skill with words and expressions.  The subject matter may be a difficult thing about which to read, but the story is compelling.

Many of us would like to say, "Oh, I'd never do what Rachel did."  But if someone we loved were in terrible danger, how far would we go to ensure their safety or their release?  I'm not talking about say a son or daughter smoking marijuana or shoplifting and getting busted.  However, if someone attempted to lure my child into their car ... well, I wouldn't want to be the person driving, and let's leave it at that.  Rachel did what she did because her adopted sister (born in Thailand) had disappeared.  Olivia (the sister) started doing what she did because she was trying to get her twin sister (who had been sold to a brothel) to the States as well.

Thankfully, some of the worst imagery in the book is just that, imagery.  I know there is evil and depravity in this world, but...*PHEW*!  Rich men bid on how a naked underage girl shown on the internet will be tortured and eventually killed by the 'Webmaster'.  The famous 'Father Massey', operator of a shelter for runaways and lauded in national media buys lingerie for some tween-teen female runaways, and his 'generosity' does not stop there.

I told you it's rough.

Such a life seems far removed for a lot of us.  But pretending depravity doesn't exist does not make it so.  Now I know that everyone cannot support every cause that's out there.  Our job is to find the wrong we can affect for the better and then do just that.

A good book must do at least one of four things:  educate, entertain, change and/or move us.  Mr. Florentin accomplishes this goal in an unforgettable way with The Schwarzschild Radius.



Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn't need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. 

His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards: 

WUACADEMIA--Prix d'Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest--First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show--Second Prize best first chapter of a novel. 
Second Prize--16th Annual International Latino Book Awards



1.  So how does an electrical engineer and network engineer get into writing fiction?

GF: It's the other way around. I was a writer long before I was an engineer. I was an English major for a while but I figured I could read books on my own. I was always fascinated by science, especially physics, but you need a gift for math, which I didn't have. So I chose engineering, which turned out to require just as much math.   

2.  When it comes to the violin, are you a performer, an audience member, or perhaps a bit of both?

GF:I play for myself because no one else would find it enjoyable. It is SOOO difficult to play the violin. You have to be great to sound good. I watch YouTube videos of Jascha Heifetz and Hillary Hahn incessantly and say to myself, "I wish I could do that."

3.  What is the most exotic place you have ever traveled?

GF: Probably the Philippines. I wouldn't mind retiring there someday. 

4.  Where is one place you would like to visit that you have never been before?

GF: I still have a lot of places on my list. I would like to see Tibet, but they're having problems over there. The same with Thailand. I have to sample the legendary steaks of Argentina before I die. 

5.  Can you tell us anything about your third (upcoming) book?

GF: It's a murder mystery that turns into a political thriller. It has much more scope than anything I've written before. There is much more at stake. My protagonist is the secondary character from The Schwarzschild Radius. I needed a cop with special forces background and he fit the bill to a T. 

6.  If you could invite one of your characters from any of your books to dinner, whom would you invite and why?

GF: I hate to say this, but I would invite Rachel Wallen because she is young and sexy. 

7.  How did this story come to you?

The Schwarzschild Radius had it's genesis when I attended the Bronx High School of Science. I met so many brilliant kids there and it occurred to me that I could write a story about young geniuses who solve a crime using their wits. 

8.  What is the best part of being an author?

GF: Coming up with a good idea and then realizing it on paper. There is nothing else that gives me that satisfaction. 

9.  Do you have any writing rituals (time of day, favorite writing beverage, etc.)? 

GF: I can write at any time of the day but I tend to write at night because I have a day job. I always read first to get into the groove, then I re-read what I wrote the night before and edit it a bit. Then I'm ready to write. 

10.  What advice would you give to our school-age children who like to write?

GF:  First of all, you should write what you read. Don't presume to write romances if you've never felt like reading one. Second, don't listen to the old adage, "Write what you know." I say, "Write what you want". With the Internet, you can sound like an expert in any field with two hours of research. You have to write about something that really moves and motivates you. You'll need that to propel you through the long process of writing and  polishing and publishing a book.


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Click the iRead logo above to visit the official tour page, where you can find more reviews, guest posts, author interviews and giveaways!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of The Swharzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin from the author and publishers via iRead Book Tours, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.)


This book also helps me fulfill the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

52 Books in 52 Weeks
105 Challenge (Cat. 8 - non-dominant genre)
Around the World Challenge (mini 2:  US/NY/NYC)
New To You Challenge (author)
TBR Challenge

1 comment:

  1. This certainly does sound like a book that deals with some heavy subjects, but also the kind of book I would read. I am interested to see what it is like. And one of the characters shares a name with me as well!