THE WICCAN WITCH OF THE MIDWEST
“I am impressed with how Scott was able to tell such a great story in such a short amount of time…. This would make my list of books to read during Halloween. It had quite an interesting twist. I was hooked from the very first page. I will definitely be picking up more books in this series.” Read more….
THE FRATERNITY OF THE SOUL EATER
“An exceptionally entertaining read, The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is the third book in the author Scott Lerner’s Samuel Roberts Thriller series, which began with Cocaine Zombies and continued with Ruler of Demons. A master of the genre, Scott Lerner’s latest novel continues to document his originality and skill as a storyteller. The Fraternity of The Soul Eater is highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections.” Read more….
—John Burroughs for the Midwest Book Review
“Not only is this an interesting plot full of twists and turns, but Lerner’s characters, Sam and Bob, are witty and endearing. The book is not just plot-heavy, as many genre books can be. This supernatural thriller is full of characterization, which is perfect for fans of the series who already love Sam Roberts and also for new readers who will like him immediately and want to go back and read the first two installments. The book is set in Champaign-Urbana, and there are many local references, especially to University of Illinois buildings, street names, restaurants and publications, such as The Daily Illini. Reading a book set in a familiar place is often an extra bonus to an already great story.” Read more….
—Margo L. Dill, The News-Gazette
“A quick and very amusing read. Even when they are getting whooped on Sam and his friend Bob, have a weird sense of humor, that just won’t let them stop making smart remarks…. This book isn’t just funny, it has some mystery, and a bit of horror, and even some adventure. It is a standalone book, but you will probably want to read the other books in the series too, if you haven’t already. I liked the last book, and this one was just as good. Maybe even better.” Read more….
“Lerner gives us characters that are full of fun, bluster and charm, yet have that energy that you feel is trustworthy. His dynamics between his characters and protagonists are both strange and unlikely, but at the same time intriguing and interesting. You find yourself immersed in a story that takes you to the edge of darkness, twisting and realigning your own take on life…. If you enjoy mystery, danger and the macabre, riddled with humor and friendship you will find this a must have for your library. You can read it time and again and still find passages you may have missed which make this a fun and unique find.” Read more….
—Tic Toc Reviews
“Another fun round with Sam and Bob…. Bob always has a way of making light of whatever happens. Whether he shoots a cobra or sees a desiccated corpse, he finds humor in it. I like Bob. He reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, right down to the van with purple shag carpet and the hash brownies.” Read more….
—Romancing the Book
Five Stars: “I liked how convincingly the author works ancient Egyptian custom into a modern-day setting; the fraternity and its practices become a chilling, unsettling villain at the center of the mystery, and it creates a unique and creative plot. Sam himself is a likeable character—he’s smart, and his close relationships with Bob and Susan help bring him alive on the page; but as a reader you also feel how conflicted he is about the things he’s recently learned walk in the world. I also liked Lark, and her sassy, brave willingness to sacrifice herself if that’s what is needed to bring justice to her sister.” Read more….
—E. Lucas, top-rated Amazon Reviewer
“The pace of the story is fast, so you’re turning pages as fast as your eyes will allow. My favorite character is Sam’s friend Bob. Everyone has or needs a Bob in their life. He’s there for his friend. He’s handy with a computer and good to bounce ideas off. I don’t want to give any spoilers but the story is a thriller mystery. It’s fun, interesting, and good.” Read more….
—The One True Faith
“A suspenseful thriller that grabs you right from the start, it takes you into an ancient world of long held secrets and grotesque murders. A true page turner.” Read more….
—Tribute Books Mama
RULER OF DEMONS
“There are exciting twists in the fast-placed plot that raise the stakes for our heroes. Ruler of Demons doesn’t feel like a horror story, but there’s strong tension and entertaining banter throughout the book. It’s the only novel about demons, mutilation, and the apocalypse that can potentially leave a smile on the reader’s face.” Read more ….
—Brian Bandell for the New York Journal of Books
“A FUN book! The main character has a really cool sense of humor (even if he is a lawyer) and even when he is about to get killed he doesn’t completely lose it. The book does have its dark side but on the whole it is the sort of book you should read when the weather is bad and you need cheering up ….The mystery part of the story was really well done too. You really don’t know right up till the end exactly how it will go. Every time I thought I had it figured out…some other thing got thrown in to shake things up.” Read more ….
—Simple Wyrdings Blog
“Ruler of Demons is creepy and fast-paced, with a few thrilling twists to keep the reader up at night. It’s also sprinkled with the kind of humor one hears in a police procedural show, the wisecracks one imagines veteran cops make. They may not be the most realistic bits of dialogue, but the blurb on the back cover gives a good idea of the wild-ride tone of the novel: ‘Only eleven shopping days till Christmas. And less than a week to save the world.’” Read more ….
–Paige Fumo Fox for Chicago Book Review
“The novel is jam-packed with details from TV and movie references to mouth-watering descriptions of local cuisine. Lerner has a keen eye for the world his characters inhabit making it come alive for the reader in all three dimensions. Overall, the mystery aspect is intriguing, but it’s the banter between Sam and Bob that holds the book together.” Read more ….
—Carol Robart, The Plot Thickens Blog
“Ruler of Demons is well written, with plenty of humor and plenty of adventure and Lerner’s cast of characters are intriguing and intelligent. Readers who like a bit of weirdness and darkness in their reading (kind of like my oldest son!) will adore this.” Read more ….
—Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
“Sam’s a fun character who inhabits a world full of them. Their interactions are natural and entertaining and the tension builds nicely as the book progresses. I found myself anxious to see how it all turned out and ended up reading it in a day. I recommend this for anyone who likes a good mystery with religious overtones.” Read more ….
—Jamie White’s Culture Shock Blog
“One of the best techniques in this thriller is the pace. Your heart will race. But you won’t have a heart attack, because the author is skilled in breaking up the pace with humor. Sam’s and Bob’s banter will make you laugh. Sometimes you have to stop and think, and then you’ll guffaw…. They’re clever, witty, and likeable. I think everyone will enjoy this story. You won’t figure it out. You won’t expect any of the twists the characters find themselves going through. You won’t want the world to end.” Read more ….
—The One True Faith Blog
“The changes in location help place the novel in the religious and historical framework that Lerner constructs. An archeological site in Israel grounds the story in antiquity. A French farmhouse built on the remnants of a Catholic church adds a spiritual element. The rooftop of a Chicago skyscraper brings things back to the modern threat that evil poses complete with an elaborately constructed altar. All of these settings combine with a protagonist who is more of a suburban atheist than anything else. Sam’s belief in logic and living in the now directly opposes the nature of the crimes he’s trying to solve, giving the book an added sense of tension as the reader is forced to look at things from the outside in…. RULER OF DEMONS might not be bursting with peace on earth and yuletide cheer, but for the murder mystery fan who gravitates toward the macabre, it makes the perfect stocking stuffer.” Read more ….
“What pulled me in about this novel were the characters. Sam and Bob have a great friendship. I loved how Bob always started about food, and how Sam managed to stay calm, no matter what. Their inside jokes made me feel connected to them. Sam was a bit of an average Joe, which made him all the more intriguing when he’s thrown in the world of the supernatural. He’s just a regular guy, and now he’s dealing with all this stuff he knows next to nothing about, all because of that one time he fought evil and won. The way they manage to keep being lighthearted, even in the face of danger, made this book unique …. All in all, a great, enjoyable read.”
—Majanka, I Heart Reading Blog
Bronze medal winner in the mystery/cozy/noir category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards
“Just before Halloween, I thought it only fitting to tell you about a wonderfully written and fun— albeit somewhat scary—new novel by local author Scott A. Lerner…. The three best things about this novel are its fast pace with short chapters, Sam as the likable hero and the humor. ‘I wanted to write a book I would also like to read,’ Lerner said. ‘The characters would talk and act like real people. It would be realistic, but at the same time, larger than life. I didn’t want it to follow the same old tired formula.’ He succeeded.” Read more ….
—Margo L. Dill, The News-Gazette
“A riveting thriller with plenty of twists and turns, very much recommended.”
—Midwest Book Review
“As this paranormal suspense novel took off, I was unable to put it down. I read until I was so sleepy I couldn’t keep my eyes open, excited to wake to pick up where I left off. “Cocaine Zombies” by Scott A. Lerner is such a great read. I recommend this book to those who like a paranormal thriller without all the frills. As I came to the final page of the book, I was more than excited to see that Scott is working on its sequel and hope that he sends it my way for review.”
—Jennifer Hass for Reader Views
“Downstate Illinois has produced such literary giants as David Foster Wallace, George Will, Dave Eggers, Roger Ebert and now Scott A. Lerner. If there is a Pulitzer Prize category for Paranormal Suspense Thrillers a nomination for Cocaine Zombies is certainly in order. Lerner’s first-person, hard-boiled narrative—peppered with dark humor and historical and geographical facts pertaining to the Champaign-Urbana setting in which his story unfolds—slyly echoes the work of Jim Thompson, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Fellow Champaign Central High School alum Lerner has crafted a gripping tale, rife with colorful characters, to create a minor masterpiece of modern fiction.”
—Don Gerard, Mayor of Champaign, Illinois
“Scott Lerner has created an everyman hero out of small-town lawyer Sam Roberts. Giving Sam a dry wit and gracing him with snappy dialog, Lerner sends him full tilt at the forces of evil that have invaded his humdrum life in Urbana, Illinois. Sam might see himself as a middle-aged schmo, but in Lerner’s deft hands, that schmo and his sidekick Bob stumble toward saving the world as we know it. Cocaine Zombies is a blast!”
—Molly MacRae, author of Last Wool and Testament, Lawn Order, and Wilder Rumors
“Sam is a character who is easy to root for. He’s smart (there are some great-accurate-legal scenes), funny without being sarcastic, brave without being reckless, and at the end of the day just wants to go back to his one-man law firm and resume his boring life. He’s gonna have to go through a lot to get there, however, and it’s a very entertaining journey.”
“Ladies and Gents, allow me to introduce you to my new best friend: Scott A. Lerner. At a time when I, an avid reader and bookworm extraordinaire, found myself quickly approaching the point of being burnt out after reading book after book until the pages seemed to blend together – I stumbled upon this gem and have found myself putting my game face back on…. Sam is a down to earth lawyer with a sarcastic wit that had me laughing out loud several times while reading. His friend Bob was a man after my own heart – a modern day hippie of sorts. I couldn’t help but picture actor Zach Galifianakis as Bob. Both of these men appealed to me because of how down-to-earth they were but also because they were so flippin smart!”
“I couldn’t put it down …. it’s full of suspense and murder …. This book is by far one of my favorites …. It will send chills up your spine and make you wonder about that little world of voodoo.”
“In Cocaine Zombies, Lerner takes the standard legal thriller and throws the rules out the window. With a deft hand and a cutting sense of humor, he crafts a paranormal tale that is both entertaining and disturbing. The triumph of this book is that Lerner takes what could have been a cheap, low grade style thriller and turned it into a subtly nuanced, entertaining read. A job well done.”
—Mark Everett Stone, author of the BSI Series and The Judas Line