12 August 2015

Review #298: Find Virgil by Frank Freudberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror - not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray."

----David Byrne, a Scottish-born American musician

Frank Freudberg, an American author, has penned a compelling and thoroughly gripping thriller, Find Virgil, which is about a serial killer who goes on a killing spree after his detection of lung cancer due to a second hand smoke, finally resulting in challenging him to shut down all the major cigarrate-making companies, and he doesn't care for if he need to kill in this process.


Get inside the mind of a serial killer as you never have before.

Is Martin Muntor a villain or victim?

Can you imagine yourself rooting for a madman to succeed in a terroristic plot to kill hundreds of people? Second-hand smoke gave Martin Muntor lung cancer, and he's mad. Very mad...and he's going to do something about it.

It’s 1995, and the tobacco industry thinks it’s invincible. But is it? Muntor devises an ingenious strategy to put cigarette companies out of business, and he doesn't care how many people he has to take with him in order to do it.

Hapless private investigator Tommy Rhoads has to find Muntor, and fast. But that's not going to be so easy. Muntor's smart and has nothing to lose, and the FBI doesn't want Rhoads's help. Rhoads has a lot at stake -- personally and professionally -- and is desperate to stop the killer.

Who’s right, and who’s wrong?

Read Find Virgil now, and go along for the wild ride.
You'll never forget it.

Mark Muntor, a good human being, who has always been a good man his entire lifetime, is now paying for his sins with his dear life. First his wife divorced him, then his company, then a second-hand smoke took a toll on his life by giving him lung cancer. Mark decides to take down all the cigarette manufacturing big shot companies with him along with some chain smokers by sending them a parcel covered in sodium cyanide, thus taking the lives of 122 innocent human lives. Will he stop at nothing to stop the mass murder? Tommy Rhoads is the PI whose used to work for his friend from a cigarette making company, now due to his own demons, he has stopped working as a detective and now the FBI wants him on his side to find this deathly serial killer.

The book opens with a bang and ends with a rather huge bang. From the very first chapter, the story held my breath toll the very last page. Although at times, the deadly protagonist clouded up my mind like a smoke yet still I could clearly put a perspective of my own on the story despite the haze. I loved the style of writing which is flawless and not even for a moment, it felt like reading a debut book, since occasionally then happen to be bit unpolished and all.

The prose is evocative with a rather fast pace that kept me on my edges till the very end. The narrative is extremely challenging as well as articulate with smoothness. The author describes each scenes with intricate detailing and vivid graphics thus letting me see the story happening right in front of my eyes.

The characters are well developed by etching our their weaker points as well as strong points. Both Muntor and Rhoads are psychologically flawed and their determination to get what they want simply blew me and I was biting my nails for the moment when these two characters come face to face. The author has portrayed the protagonists with enough depth that let me contemplate with their situations, especially with the reasons which compelled them to behave in a different way.

The theme is extremely delicate and a sensitive matter not only with respect to 90's time period but also in today's world, and the author has strikingly depicted the hidden agenda of these top shot cigarette manufacturing companies who lie to make their product sell, who know that there is a life-threatening risk, yet they market them so openly and shamelessly provoking human minds to grab a pack either way. The nail biting moments and those adrenaline rushing actions made me feel like riding a roller coaster, and with unexpected twists and turns made it one hell of a wild ride. Overall, the book is layered with some raw deep emotions as well as puzzling mystery that only kept me glued to the core of the story.

Verdict: A must read thriller.

Courtesy: Thanks Maxine for such a great book. 

Author Info:
Frank Freudberg is a novelist, journalist and ghostwriter. He enjoys writing about underdogs and their battles with forces seemingly bigger than them -- and he particularly likes watching them prevail. Freudberg lives near Philadelphia and he's contributed to Reuters, Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Der Spiegel, and others. His work has been mentioned in many notable publications including Time, Newsweek, and The Guardian.
Visit him here 

Book Purchase Links:


  1. This sounds like a really interesting book! I love thrillers and the set-up for 'Find Virgil' is unlike one I have heard of before. I hope the book isn't too preachy about its message against smoking because although I think it's a good message you don't want to walk away from a book feeling you've been scolded! I'm glad you enjoyed it though and I'll definitely put it on my TBR list!
    Great review :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. It must be difficult when you are a good man and everything seemingly goes wrong for you in an undeserving way. I can imagine it is difficult. But smoking is a big problem and I wish people would stop doing it!


Thanks for your feedback!