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Hi, my wife and I have three children and five grandchildren. Our home is in the Midwest, USA northeast of St. Louis, Missouri.
My primary writing interest is in the crime, mystery, suspense, thriller genres. The Irrevocable Change Trilogy was my first published work, a character study of an assassin for hire. It delved into his personal and intimate relationships in addition to his chosen profession.
A vigilante series followed with the Carter A. Johnson Thrillers. There are currently four books in the series.
As a change of pace, I’ve also written a horror, action, adventure novel. Outnumbered volumes 1 thru 6 is a zombie apocalypse tale that details the long term decline of the human race after the initial apocalypse.
Thank you, I hope you enjoy my stories.
on Oct. 31, 2017 :
I didn’t expect much out of the ordinary from this story although the sample did interest me enough to buy the book. I’m pleased to say my expectations were far exceeded. It’s a great plot with lots of exciting action and sensible details. The assassin’s involvement with his friends and family raised it several notches above similar stories.
The shoot out near the end was full of tension and conflict and the final scene with Anna and her children set the direction for the next book. It was apparent she was going to become a major player in the plot.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
on Sep. 25, 2017 :
This book is a good solid read following the transition of a young man to a career as an assassin. The attention to detail was meticulous and the planning before the assassinations was thorough and involved. It was realistic that he made mistakes as he learned his trade. I liked it a lot.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
on July 25, 2017 :
Title – Reverse Metamorphosis -
Book One of The Irrevocable Change Trilogy
Author – Robert Schobernd
Genre – Thriller, Assassin
Rating - 5 stars out of 5 Posted 7/25/2017
No. 50 - 2017
My impressions: frighteningly realistic, violent yet caring, driven, tenacious and unrelenting.
Clayton Albrecht – The Assassin
Tony Giliano – Clayton’s mentor and father of his best friend, Mafia boss of a territory in southwest Chicago.
Anna - Tony’s wife and wannabe bad woman Mafia boss.
Joey Tadono – Tony’s second in command of his illegal activities and chief enforcer.
Clayton’s mother Margaret and younger sister Lizzy.
Adrianna Giliano – Tony and Anna’s only daughter.
Near the beginning of the plot, Clayton is involved in the accidental death of a drunk who attacked him. He then took up the vigilante murder of a man who killed his lifelong best friend. Months later he avenged another gang's attack on Tony that put him in the hospital. Under Clay’s tutelage fourteen of the attacking gang’s leaders were killed in a single attack.
Circumstances quickly arose that led to Clayton being blackballed from his union laborer job. When Tony mentioned another boss was looking for a hitman to take out a convicted pedophile, Clayton volunteered and began his career of killing for money. The conversations between Clay and Tony about Clay’s choice to be a professional assassin were realistic and brought out the close relationship they shared.
An unexpected aspect of Clay’s new career came through when he had to deal with a situation involving his younger sister, Lizzy. He hadn’t expected his murderous skills to be used in his personal life and was deeply troubled by it.
Clay discovered there were other family problems to deal with and again it involved Lizzy. I laughed out loud as the situation with Lizzy and Irish unfolded with Clay in the middle. I found the writing hilarious.
Eventually, after starting a business to cover his extended trips away on contract kills, Clay bought a home and moved away from the watchful eyes of Margaret.
Clay’s life became more complicated when he and Adrianna began a secret affair without telling Tony or Anna. Soon, Adrianna pressured him to marry her and issued an ultimatum; marry me or I’ll find someone who will.
The account of a contract kill in Canada was an exceptional tale of planning and execution that I found superb in its detail and composition. It was an outstanding segment and one that made a profound and lasting impression on the assassin.
Near the end, Clay was injured in a shootout that reeked of tension. It was one of the high points of the plot.
The editing is excellent with only minor errors and the sentence structure is good.
Character development is in depth for all main characters.
Details are outstanding where needed but are not wasted on issues of little consequence.
Research is evident in location descriptions, and weapons are defined as to makes and models.
The plot is not the typical assassin story. Clayton’s family relations and friendships are explored in depth and add clarity to the story.
The writing style is fast paced with just enough breathing room for readers to catch their breath before the next action sequence.
The story contains strong cursing and violence and some sexual situations.
Reverse Metamorphosis actually reads like a soap opera because of the personal involvement with the families of the main characters. I enjoyed it and recommend it highly.
This story is violent; readers who reject detailed violence, rape and torture should skip this assassin series. The Assassin is a cold-blooded killer.
This review was provided in exchange for a free book.
Vigilant Reader Book Reviews.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on June 20, 2017 :
The story began with action from the very beginning. As Clayton struggled through two murders, one accidental the other pre-meditated, he became accustomed to killing. When a chance to make money for killing a pedophile came along he jumped in to being a full-time killer. I think the writing is good and the plot is well thought out. I lost some sleep getting to the end of this book because I didn’t want to stop. And when it ended I was totally surprised at what happened to Tony and Anna. A great setup for the next book.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
on Aug. 18, 2015 :
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on Jan. 28, 2015 :
Oh my gosh! Once I started this I couldn't stop. This story is written just as I could imagine someone on the edge of crime being dragged into becoming a killer. Clayton wasn't very good at anything until he got involved in murder. I liked it in spite of the abundant violence because, after all, the main character is a killer. I'm definitely reading book 2.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on Dec. 10, 2014 :
This story is not for the faint of heart. The language is coarse and the violence is abundant, but not overdone considering the characters; it's what I expected in a novel about an assassin only done better than most. I was drawn to the humanity of the characters and amazed by the details of the planning and execution. A lot of internal thoughts by Clay let me feel who and what he was as he turned from a nice young man into a killer. This is by far the best and most realistic story of its kind I've ever read. An excellent read.
(reviewed 4 years after purchase)
on Oct. 02, 2014 :
My God! This book is exciting and scary. I loved it. I wonder if cold blooded killers can really be this dangerous and still have ties to normal friends and families as depicted. The scene where Ron Weaver was attacked was intense as it revealed his feelings when he was shot and dying. The segment where a mobster in a New York hotel was ambushed was complicated and very detailed and believable. This assassin isn't perfect; he makes mistakes just like everyone does. A great read.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Sep. 03, 2014 :
An excellent read. Down and dirty. Long enough that it took me three long evenings to finish. Well defined characters. The story flows well and I like the details of the hits. I recommend it if you like in depth crime stories.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2014 :
Book one of the Irrevocable Change trilogy starts by introducing the initial main characters and lays a foundation for the following books. Character development is very good in that I felt like they were people of conviction and ethics; their own brand of ethics of course. The story quickly kicked into high gear as Clayton Albrecht is drawn into the criminal world through his friendship with Chicago's worst when they are attacked and he responds by performing vigilante actions. He soon discovered he was addicted to the hunt and the kill as he developed into a professional killer. The language, violence and sexual situations are rough, but I think acceptable considering the people who are portrayed. The detailed description of a hit on a crooked policeman and his emotional dying thoughts struck me as very real and I felt pity for the man. Of course later on there were even more victims to feel pity for. Another interesting feature of the writing is how Clayton's personal relationship with his family and friends is woven into his newfound profession. When I finished book one I couldn't wait to move on to book two. The tension created in the final scene made it impossible not to want to read more.
(reviewed 4 years after purchase)
Kristi (Books N Beans)
on April 10, 2012 :
Is it nature, nurture, or environment that molds us? This is a topic that's long been debated, and the ultimate conclusion is that it's a tricky mixture of all 3. What is the trigger that allows one of these areas to outweigh the others enough to become the more powerful influence?
Clayton Albrecht (why does that name sound familiar) is a perfect example of how these 3 factors can combine into a deadly combination. Clayton's family is traditional if somewhat strict and judgmental, so he didn't get a lot of nurture. He also grew up with a best friend who's family is the mob, so his environment wasn't a great influence either. Was it either of these that lead to his nature being more accepting of committing a crime or was it just in his nature all along and these two factors only added to it?
No matter the reason why, Clayton finds his way into the position of being a contracted assassin. Reverse Metamorphosis is the first book in the Irrevocable Change trilogy by R.E. Schobernd. It examines the life events that happen to Clayton, the decisions he makes in lieu of these events, and how all of it creates a path that Clayton takes to becoming an assassin. We watch the small, ever increasing changes as Clayton starts the process of becoming a cold-blooded killer.
This book was such a fascination to read, to see Clayton's character impacted by forces within himself and outside of himself. To be in the mind of an assassin as he becomes. His planning, his skills, and his blunders as he learns his way around the art of killing. His conniving, manipulations, and his deceptions as he tries to hide his criminal life from his respectable life. And the irony! He's a criminal with morals, because he'll only take out other criminals.
The best part is that this is just the first book. You end it with Clayton issuing an ultimatum and then you get to jump right into the next one, The Assassin Evolves.
*Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for a review*
(review of free book)
on Nov. 01, 2011 :
It deserves 3 1/2 to 4 stars.
When I started reading the book, I was unsure what to expect. I hadn't read anything having to do with mob or assassins in the contemporary sense (only in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian urban fantasy environment).
So I started the book with an open mind and let myself get immersed in Clayton Albrecht's life during the late sixties and seventies.
Right from the start we understand that Clay is not like other people. Yes he looks like an ordinary young man, yes he is a construction worker and lives with his parents, Margaret and Walter and his sister,Lizzie, but there is a certain sense of detachment coming from him, even when he is dealing with them.
Maybe he would continue to be an ordinary man, if he is best friend wasn't Jimmy, the son of local gangster/mobster Tony Giliano and if he hadn't accidentally killed a man who attacked him late one night when he was drinking at a bar.
The killing wasn't intentional of course, and Clay did feel panic and sadness at first, but after getting over the initial shock he was able to make a decision that shaped his future.
He could contact the police and report the incident. Maybe it would be deemed an accident, but maybe he would be charged with manslaughter and that was something Clay couldn't live with.
Thus, he decided to leave the body hidden and go on his way. Like he himself said, he had a conscience just like everyone else, but unlike most others he found that he could just ignore and bury that voice inside his head at will.
There was nothing to link him to the murder so he went on with his life.
But once Jimmy, his best friend supposedly died in an accident, which he later uncovered to be an act of violence, he took the law into his hands and exerted his own kind of justice without telling anyone anything. Just like that, the barely-out-of-adolescence man, devised and executed a perfect plan meant to kill the man who pushed Jimmy to his death.
Of course, an execution like that, would attract the attention of Jimmy's father, Tony and when Clay revealed to him that he was the one who did it, he was impressed. It was, indeed, evident that Clay was a natural-born killer. :P
And a man like that could come in handy to a family like the Gilianis.
What excited me the most about this book, was the fact that it flowed quite easily and swiftly and it didn't feel stiff at all. Usually books that cover a lot of time (i.e. a whole decade) can get static at times, as the story evolves. This is not the case with this book.
We have clear characters, who are exactly what they appear to be, with no hidden motives or moments when their actions seem uncharacteristic.
On the contrary, we get to see the way people of this lifestyle lead their lives and how their life might revolve around criminal activities, but they can also maintain deep and meaningful relationships.
We don't see a lot of Jimmy, but his father Tony seems to be a strong, decisive man, who retains a sense of dignity and integrity throughout the book. Yes, he is a criminal, but he is not portrayed to use violence any more than necessary - where necessary is usually when a former employee or someone involved is on the verge of talking to the police or get too greedy. Is it easy for him to take the decision to kill someone? Yes, it is, but unlike in other situations, he isn't shown to kill someone's family to set an example or for revenge. It's only the person that crossed him.
Anna, his wife, seems quite intelligent and composed and it is quite clear that she is the force behind him. She is there to offer support and insight, which are both priceless. Later in the book we also find out that apart from the heart, she is also the brains of the whole family. I quite enjoyed every scene she was in, as she came across as classy and unassumingly efficient.
Their other children, apart from Adriana whom I grew to respect for her decisiveness and her truthfulness, seemed arrogant and hypocritical. If you are against the "family business" and you want to judge and declare your opposition and superiority, you can't accept the money coming from said business for your studies or lifestyle. That's just insulting.
Lizzie, was also a likable character that wasn't in the book that much, but towards the end she proved to be more than the frivolous, unreliable daughter. On the contrary, she supported her mother a lot when she needed it and was there for Clay, too.
As for Clay, he was by far the most impressive character of the book - even if hardly the most likable. How can a man go from ordinary and dull, to a full-time assassin, would be beyond me, had I not read this book.
Slowly but gradually, we follow Clay as he takes the grief (and sometimes the need for revenge)we would all feel over the murder or injury of a loved one, to an excuse to kill. I guess most of us have felt the urge to slap someone who hurt someone we love, but hardly do we contemplate hurting him/her and actually plan it and go through with it.
Clay, however, seems to have a knack for keeping a clear head during a time like that. He simply knows what to do in order to determine what is the best way to kill someone undetected.
The pages describing the way he watched and stalked his victims, extrapolating their most vulnerable moments from their habits are fascinating. He can literally spend days thinking of nothing else. The amount of dedication and meticulousness is unsettling and awe-worthy. At first, he is driven from the need to avenge people he cares about, which to some extent is comprehensible, but later on he becomes and assassin and can still keep his mind on the job, regardless of the fact that the person he is asked to kill hasn't done anything to him, might have a family etc.
You follow him throughout the whole planning, so everything makes sense (everything is plausible and there are no moments at which you want to roll your eyes) and works out in way that makes your head spin at how easy it could be for someone intent on killing!
And just when you think that Clay can be softie or "not all bad" he goes and does things that leave you with your mouth open. He kills the man staying at his former bootcamp instructor because he poses a threat (so it's something he has to do out of self-preservation in a way), but just before lighting the whole area on fire, he has time to grab food and beer from his fridge and even later he casually steals from his victims!
He is ruthless and headstrong and knows what to do to get what he wants...We have proof of that even in the last pages when he pushes "Adriana" into a decision.
The way he isn't shown to rationalize his actions, yet feel little to no remorse - in other words not lose any sleep over it - is chilling. And it's not even the way he is written that is chilling. It's the way he goes on with his life as if nothing has happened that stays with you the most.
One of his most impressive "feats" is killing a "potential" witness against three "families", while he is in protective custody (witness protection) at a random hotel, where he had no information whatsoever as to which room or which floor the man was in. The attention to detail, his perceptiveness and obviously his intelligence is quite astonishing.
All in all, Clay is a solid character who impresses you, but also scares you with the skill set he has and how he puts it to use. He is not immoral, he is not exactly amoral, but he isn't exactly moral either. The way he thinks about things is practical and straightforward. He has no second thoughts, he takes a decision and lives with its consequences and whatever he does, he convinces himself that it is the action he should take in order to progress in the way he wants.
He is good at killing people, so why not make money out of it?
He is smart with his investments, but he is not greedy or money-hungry. He likes the stability and security it offers. But he is also smart enough to realize that he needs something solid in his life, hence he starts his own business...
On the other hand, there are a few things that felt a bit awkward to me, while reading the book.
We do get a feel of the character, mostly when it comes to killing and "maneuvering" his life around that, but although there is no mention of him appreciating furniture etc, suddenly he decides to open and Antiques shop because he has always kind of liked it. It is of course quite convenient to pursue a profession like this since he can't get out of state without raising suspicions, but prior to that he wasn't shown to appreciate things like that. Then, when he has to murder someone in an skiing area in Canada, he has a little knowledge over that, because he used to go fishing with his step-dad. But even though he visits his parents, he is mostly there for dinner and I'm not sure a mention of fishing trips was there before. (Although he did go on fishing trips with Tony after he got his boat.)
Another instance is when his sister, Lizzie, is roofied and gang-raped and he finds out about it.
Yes, his sister might be a little fickle and have relationships with a lot of men, but that doesn't mean that she deserves something like this, especially since it wasn't her choice.
Yet, Clay feels that it could be a "lesson" to her, at first!!!
Seriously? His sister is gang-raped and it's a lesson? It was his sister and he only decided to take action and kill the man responsible, when he blackmailed Lizzie to do it again, so that he wouldn't show pictures of the incident. So it's the blackmail that went to far? The rape was "meh..."?
For someone who took the law into his own hands because his best friend was killed ad forms a deep bond with the head of a gang family, it's weird not to "avenge" his own sister, because clearly he is capable of emotions and love and devotion.
Besides, let's not forget it is the seventies, so there was this whole thing of "sexual freedom and revolution" , so his sister was hardly "that" fickle. It was a trend.
He did redeem himself later on, though when his sister revealed to him that she was a lesbian and he stood beside her.
Overall, this was an exciting first book in a series, that promises to impress you as well as scare you, because the main character, Clay is an ordinary man turned into a ruthless assassin not exactly out of necessity but out of skill!
People who enjoy a good crime read that doesn't have any plot holes and shows a deeply satisfying and meticulous attention to details, should not miss this one!
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on May 10, 2011 :
R.E. SCHOBERND "REVERSE METAMORPHOSIS" (A REVIEW)
I often pride myself on being a fast reader and in this case I started reading this book last night around 10:00 pm and I couldn't stop. I've just finished it at 7:07 pm and decided I needed to get this review up. I can honestly say that if you like Mob stories this book is for you. It seemed to start out a little on the documentary side, a lot of narrative which was really good because R.E. gives you enough background that you aren't left in the dark when you get to the meat of the story.
Clay is a young man just turned 21 that becomes the catalyst to an unfortunate accident which involves the death of a bar patron. He soon becomes like a shark that's tasted blood and just can't let go of the leg it flows from. Soon he loses his best friend and finds out that the 'accident' that took his life was no accident at all. This entire scenario sends Clay down a path of darkness as he becomes an avenging angel. At first you can sympathize with the man and his need to gain revenge but later you begin to realize that he's tossed his life away only to become the divining hand of the Mob in his city.
Clay goes through life warring with his emotions and trying to figure out what it is he really wants. He ends up constantly losing his way and losing people he cares about all for the sake of his 'job'. This story is well written and chock full of such detail you'd think that R.E. Shobernd had lived the life himself.
This book makes you see the action as though watching it on screen and forces you to take a side. Perhaps it's just that dark part of me that we all have but in a way I still liked Clay even though his path was a dangerous and bloody one. Definitely a good read for the men out there!
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
Crescent Suns eBooks
on April 14, 2011 :
In this raw, unbridled look at how an assassin might be made, R.E. Schobernd reveals intricacies of underworld crime that suggest he might know more than he's willing to admit, except within the pages of his fictional writing.
Irrevocable Change is a chilling look into the life of an underworld hit man unlike any you have ever read before or are likely to read ever again.
For the full review on this book visit: http://crescentsunspublishing.blogspot.com/2011/04/killer-beginings.html
(review of free book)
on March 26, 2011 :
Reverse Metamorphosis is a daring and explosively written crime story. The descriptions of the scenes pulled me in and held my interest throughout the book. The central characters are ruthless but intriguing and I felt myself liking them, even though I knew I shouldn't.
(review of free book)
on Feb. 20, 2011 :
A real page turner. I was hooked from the start, and couldn't put it down.
A riveting look into the making of a hitman and an inside view of organized crime.
He makes you care about the characters.
Looking forward to reading book two and three.
(review of free book)