Book Review: The Red Road to Hades by Charles W. Massie

Love is the most beautiful and complex emotion in the whole world. Some say that trust is the backbone of love. However, how much trust is too much? Is there a scale against which one can measure the required dose of this drug? If not, then how do we know that the love that blinds our vision and senses would make us stronger or rip us apart? The Red Road to Hades by Charles W. Massie closely reflects the words  of Joan Crawford,

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell. 

In the words of the author,”This is a true story. I know it’s true because I lived it; correction, am still living it,” and it’s a shame that an innocent person is suffering due to the inefficiency of a system while the evil breathes free.

A retired and lonely New Yorker, Mark Cassie, sets up his profile on an online dating website. He wishes to move out of New York and settle somewhere a little quieter. His profile receives several messages, but only one lady’s response captures his attention. The thing that stands out in her profile is her being a redhead. Mark has a thing for redheads. Recently divorced, Roxanne lives in Kentucky. They begin interacting frequently, and, soon, she invites Mark to visit her in Kentucky. Their Chemistry seems too strong to ignore; therefore, Mark decides to meet and see where the relationship goes. As soon as they meet, they find themselves mesmerized with each other. This temporary visit turns into a permanent one, and Mark moves in with Roxanne. Their relationship seems perfect, except for Roxanne’s sudden mood swings. She blames her frequent temperamental fits to the pills that she has been taking to deal with menopause. However, some of her stories don’t add up, and Mark worries that she might be a pathological liar. He decides to leave her, but destiny has other plans for him and he ends up behind bars on the charges of domestic violence and drug trafficking. He does not know that this phase of his life would seem to go on forever.

The tempting world of online dating promises miracles in the love department but offers no guarantee in this area. Still, we find ourselves jumping up and down at the prospect of embracing a relationship. The loneliness plays a major role into getting us super enthusiastic about it. By narrating a true story, the author narrows down the errors in our ways. Mark pays no heed to the warning of his friend while creating his online profile, and pays the price. However, he does not blame online dating for the  problems. Instead, he points out at every point in his narration, how he ignored the most obvious signs. Love does this to people, and the devil knows it. Evil is all around us, waiting to find its next prey. All we can do is to keep our eyes, ears, and head in working condition. By writing this book, the author has done a commendable job to warn its readers about what could happen. The beginning phase of love is all about hugs, kisses and more, but what lies ahead could be an incomprehensible darkness ready to bury its claws into one’s flesh.

A look at the blurb of the book may make a reader anticipate a book full of pain and tears; however, the narration of the author is entwined with varied emotions. When an innocent person is convicted, they are expected to crash and become hopeless. This is what I anticipated happening to Mark. Nevertheless, no misery could snatch Mark’s incredible sense of humor. He cried tears of frustration and despair but never let his wit abandon him. An unjust system tried to break him into pieces, but he held his head high against all the circumstances. “The protectors of the law” ganged up against him, but he did not let them destroy his determination to find justice.

The writing of the author is quite powerful. I found myself crying when Mark cried and laughing when he joked. His frustration made me want to punch a few grinning faces, and his helplessness teared me up. Throughout the read, I prayed to the almighty to end his sufferings and prevail the justice.In the heart of my hearts, I wished to see him out of the prison. As a reader, I know a book is marvelous if I am reciprocating the feelings of its characters. As a reviewer, I could not wait to write down my thoughts about this book. (I skipped dinner to write, and that’s saying something.)

I applaud the author for sharing this true story in an engaging writing style. I wish that justice would finally prevail and “Mark’s” sufferings would end. I can’t help but be mesmerized by his amazing sense of humor, even at the darkest of times.

I would recommend this book to the readers who like reading about real life stories involving the law. There are many takeaways in the book, like learning about your legal rights, investigating your love-interest thoroughly, and continue fighting for the truth.

P.S. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

P.P.S. His story is so powerful that I have decided to approach the author for an interview. Keep a close watch on my blog to know more about our very talented author, Charles W. Massie. I hope that he would agree to an interview for my wonderful readers.

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