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The Trouble With Being God: 10th Anniversary Special Edition by [William F. Aicher]

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The Trouble With Being God: 10th Anniversary Special Edition Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


From the official OnlineBookClub Review:

The Trouble With Being God by William F. Aicher is a crime thriller set in the fictional city of Courtsdale. Steven Carvelle is a crime reporter given close access to murder scenes by his friend Miles, a police detective. They attend the horrific crucifixion of a man hung on the outside wall of an abandoned brewery. The victim is Father Bergens from St. Mary's church, which Steven's girlfriend Karen attends. Steven, not religious himself, is an alcoholic who drinks himself to sleep every night.

Steven and Karen are having relationship difficulties, partly caused by the demanding nature of Steven's work for newspaper The Courtland Courier. Steven is also a jealous man, and the tension between he and Karen is exacerbated by Karen's close friendship with John Paluniak, her best friend's widower. John is an attractive man whom Karen once had feelings for. Karen accompanies him to a fundraising dinner as his platonic "date". The next morning, John is found murdered horribly, like Father Bergens, only posed differently. Karen looks after John's orphaned son, Dakota, until the boy's aunty Alana arrives to take custody. Steven is at a particularly dark place in his life. He even jokingly claims responsibility for one of the murders, and says the victims "deserved it". He is initially arrested as a suspect after John Paluniak's murder, but then released.

The first page of The Trouble With Being God grabbed my attention immediately. The description of a murder from the murderer's point of view is visceral and frightening. Aicher graphically describes the killing, dealing with physical sensations and emotions at close quarters. This was one of the most confronting and involving murder scenes I have ever read. Aicher also employs some excellent evocative description for exterior settings and murder scenes, but keeps it relatively simple and elegant, thus avoiding the impression of a writer trying too hard to impress. Two serene and beautiful descriptive sentences opening Chapter Three are immediately followed by the announcement of a crucified body, which hits all the harder after the gentle description preceding it.

The autopsy scene in this book is detailed and well researched. Thematically, Aicher includes interesting musings on the inbuilt savagery of man, who hides behind his "mask of civility". Another theme is the concept of destiny, and how much control one really has over it. The chapters are short, making them quick and easy to read. The story then becomes addictive, as you feel you can read just one more, then another, then another. There is a gritty sense of realism throughout, encompassing both the dull, dirty city and the flawed lives of the characters, who are all regular people with faults. The dialogue never seems forced or false.

Aicher's character development is solid. He feeds in a reasonable amount of backstory without getting bogged down. I felt like I got to know all the characters quite well. There was definite realism in the difficulties of human relationships, as Steven and Karen - both stubborn - struggled to be harmonious as a couple. Aicher also includes little true-to-life touches, like Karen slipping a coaster under Steven's drink on his own coffee table.


Overall, The Trouble With Being God is a brilliant thriller with a twisted plot and powerful ending, a gritty and addictive page-turner I read in under 24 hours. I loved the writing, the story, and the ending. It is, quite simply, one of the best crime thrillers I have ever read. It would appeal to any fan of psychological terror, particularly those with a penchant for dark movies like Seven and The Silence of the Lambs. However, with graphic descriptions and concepts, it is definitely not for the faint of heart.

About the Author

William F. Aicher is an independent author who primarily writes what he describes as "philosophical fiction" and holds degrees in journalism and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. A proponent of the value of creative work, he is also a champion of intellectual property rights. A Wisconsin native, he currently lives in the middle of Iowa with his wife, three sons, and a trio of crazy cats. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • Publisher : William F. Aicher; 2nd edition (April 13, 2018)
  • Publication date : April 13, 2018
  • Language : English
  • File size : 1237 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 303 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
30 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, intriguing page turner
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting pay-off
Reviewed in Australia on December 27, 2019
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Alanna J Rusnak
5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly weaves together plot and existential crisis
Reviewed in Canada on August 9, 2018
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