"well-done historical details provide rich story"
The time frame for SARANAC LAKE REQUIEM is the late
twenties. The action takes place in upper New York State in
the little town of Saranac Lake, a place known for its pure
air and tuberculosis cure centers. Here people go to
breathe fresh cold air, eat as much as they can, and rest,
the only known treatments for TB at the time. While they
are being cured, they drink, smoke, and party as if there
is no tomorrow. After all, for some of them there isn't.
Sometimes they spend years doing this and sometimes they
die to be carried away on the night train in a coffin.
Sometimes they get better.
The main character is Gabriel Levine, a Jewish man who got
drunk one night and defended a woman's honor, in the
process knocking down Dutch Schultz, a well-known gangster.
Ordinarily this would have put an immediate end to his
life, but he managed to avoid Dutch that night, and instead
comes to the notice of several other gangsters. To avoid
the start of a war, they ship him to Saranac Lake, where
either his TB or a stray bullet can kill him without danger
of a war.
This book is filled with well-done historical details, in
the lives of people during the twenties, the entertainers
that were around, the gang-leaders who controlled
bootlegging. Fascinating details are provided about TB
treatment at the time. The characters in the book are
richly described and there is as much humor as tragedy in
My only complaint of the book is a minor and frankly a
personal one. I know that smoking was considered a
relatively benign activity during the twenties, and so
having TB patients smoking with full permission from their
doctors is completely within the spirit of the time of the
book. However, I've lost too many family members to smoking
enhanced illnesses to completely enjoy a book where someone
lights up a cigarette after coughing up blood. In spite of
this, I give this well-done novel my recommendation.
Janet Miller © Copyright 2002
for ParaNormal Romance
originally published @
Amazing Authors Showcase
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted June 15, 2002
In the small village of Saranac Lake, high in the
Adirondack Mountains, thousands of sick people came in the
hope that the mountain air, the sanitoriums, the many
private homes turned into 'cure cottages' would save their
lives. Gabriel Levine was sent because a foolish act of
bravery, knocking down a notorious gangster to protect a
young woman threatened a gang war. He never dreamed that he
would find a new life, true friendship, love, and mortal