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While keeping up with the times, Tavi Florescu likes to revive the past in his creative writing (short stories, screenplays, novels) and to make it meaningful to present-day readers. His ideas may not be altogether new, as there is nothing new under the sun, but he conveys them in his own way. Tavi lives in Los Angeles, CA.
on Sep. 03, 2017 :
Tavi Florescu's debut novel, The Master of the Name, is an unconventional detective story that reminds us of the innovative structure of Chekhov’s The Shooting Party and the layered narrative of Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind. It also draws on Borges’s Death and the Compass kabbalistic hoax and Eco’s erudite salgarism while emulating, here and there, the playful lyricism of Nabokov and Chandler.
We know that people would usually die for love or money, yet in this mystery, it seems that the reason of death is the simple utterance of the Ineffable Name of God—YHWH. Don’t try to say “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” since you’ll be yourself guilty of blasphemy as “he that pronounces the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 24:16).
This commandment is apparently ignored by an Hassidic Rabbi from northern California, who becomes the first victim of a vengeful zealot. You may understand then why this case is assigned to Thomas Gray, a strange detective with unorthodox methods, whose HB2 pencil is as deadly as a .44 Magnum. Oddly enough, the suspect is a panicked professor of English literature, who runs for his life along with his smart girlfriend all the way to an Orthodox Monastery in Jordanville, NY. Toby and Maggy’s relationship grows on their journey together and Florescu proves himself a master in building real and likable characters caught in extraordinary circumstances. The theme of requited vs. unrequited love, which spans three generations, from The Roaring 20’s up to the present, testifies about how life has a way of replaying the same scenes, but with different sets of actors. Their fledgling love story may be regarded as a fine piece of literary fiction.
The fugitive gives enough time to Detective Gray to figure out the murderer’s Cabalistic rules of the game with the help of a Jewish scholar fond of the numerical features of medieval manuscripts, Wall Street and… coeds. Only that his help comes at an unexpected price, one that no love or money can pay.
I wholeheartedly recommend Tavi Florescu’s The Master of the Name, a book that can accommodate any taste and satisfy any reader. It encompasses both the crime fiction and romance genres while initiating the reader into the Hassidic tales about the magical deeds performed by the Masters of the Good Name—The Tetragrammaton (YHWH).
(reviewed the day of purchase)