Save Me from Dangerous Men is a unique book and worth a read. The introduction to the protagonist is done in a noir type narrative that connects the reader to main character right from the start. Though an innately hard style to pull off, S. A. Lelchuk hit the mark in the first chapter engaging the reader in mystery and action. This style, however, isn’t the prominent style of writing throughout the book which is of great credit to the author as an entire book written this way could have easily gone wrong. Instead the reader is brought the breadth of the story in the first-person narrative of Nikki who observes the world in an almost self-destructive way.
The plot of the story is not particularly radical or shocking but one of the things that I liked about this novel was just that. Nothing was overly outlandish or beyond belief and the take away was modern and relevant. Though mired slightly in cliché’s, such as a common back story and overzealous shadowy government agents, and some deus ex machina (especially near the end), S. A. Lelchuk never gave any of the characters an overwhelming leg up in any situation leaving the reader connected, on some level, with all parties involved. Another positive that must be noted is the author’s ability to precisely describe the environment without the need for excessive amounts of wordy paragraphs. Much like the main character, things are to the point—a very sharp point.
Character development for the main characters was also well done. The author did not drive home long or unnecessary back story for every character trait expressed. All had redeeming qualities, all had their flaws, and everyone was vulnerable in some way. Secondary characters were typically cannon fodder to enhance the ambiance or add depth or resolution to a situation, and with few exceptions, most notably the cat, are sparsely revisited. The power of this novel, though, is in Nikki. The author did a great job of creating a unique and interesting character that has more surprises than being a renegade with a night stick in her purse. The reader is also left with a “what’s next” kind of feeling that I hope gets some resolution in the future.
Overall, this book sets the stage for a new character to emerge violently into the literary domain. The stylistic and creative qualities certainly run in the veins of S.A. Lelchuk, who has the potential of bringing the Thriller genre a new and lovable champion replete with wits, charm and blackened eyes. As a stand-alone book, it is of a high caliber and a great read. If the first in a series, it’s an extremely solid foundation that with a bit more of S. A. Lelchuk’s talent could easily transcend into phenomenal.