Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:
That Weekend in Albania: A Road Trip to Intrigue in the Balkans
by Peter J. Meehan
Publisher: Outskirts Press
An expatriate family takes a road trip to visit Albania’s historical sites, two months after 9/11 in the only Muslim country in Europe. Despite its historical location at the crossroads between Rome and Greece, Albania is still largely avoided by tourists—the country’s Stalinist past and reputation for money laundering in support of terrorism limits interest, but there are investment opportunities for multinationals.
Tony is working as a manager for a Vienna-based company that is having issues in a contract area near the Kosovo border. Drug and weapon trafficking persist in the former Yugoslavian province’s frontier despite a peace settlement having been reached. Tony hopes this weekend outing will convince his wife that a Mediterranean lifestyle is possible in Europe’s poorest country, and that it might restore some good will with his teenage daughter, who is visiting from a Vienna boarding school. The trip will be their first overnight stay outside the capital, but unbeknownst to him when he is informally asked by his consulate to note any illegalities en route, their destination is now a regional Albanian mafia centre. When Tony’s diplomatic contact becomes an Albanian mafia target, and the organisation hires a hit man to eliminate their problem, the expat suspects his sense of adventure is misplaced, and that dire consequences are still a possibility while the country attempts to modernise.
As Tony tries to deal with family and work issues while travelling across classic ruins and remnants of Albania’s heritage as a Christian bastion prior to four hundred years of Ottoman rule, the conflict to control the growing underground economy heats up. He and his family witness the nearly unknown Mediterranean coast road’s natural beauty, but the remains of an ancient past, and the consequences of the more recent brutal military dictatorship, continue to confront them.
That Weekend in Albania is a thoroughly researched and well-written work of travel fiction introducing Albania to readers interested in adventurous travel. Peter J. Meehan presents this fascinating Balkan country through two perspectives – an ex-pat family’s, and that of Albanian entrepreneurs trying to create prosperity in a post-Communist world. The family must cope with issues such as midlife crisis and parent-child relations in a context of culture shock, separation, language barriers and an unfamiliar environment. The businessmen do not hesitate to use questionable means to achieve their ends, within a framework of recent conflict and ancient loyalties. Several thriller-like episodes, featuring fast cars on bad roads, furnish jolts of excitement. Altogether, this book is an interesting and informative vicarious journey through a new and unfamiliar country.
[ reviewed by Audrey Driscoll of Midwest Book Review ]
Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:
At first I thought that I wanted to keep reading T.W.I.A. because it revived memories of when I visited Peter in Tirana. Later, I realized that I wanted to keep reading because this is a very good, entertaining story. His geographical, cultural and historical descriptions are accurate, his characters real. I’m looking forward to Peter’s next book.Given his life around the world I’m guessing that he’ll have lots to tell.
– Amazon Reviewer Keith James
Well researched and full of detailed information on a largely unknown country. Added perspecies from foreigners and Albanians make for an interesting read. The fictional story of crime keeps the pace going between a story of a father daughter relationship. Highly recommended.
– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer
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Self Publishing Advisor