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Sometimes you come upon a novel that is so intense and personal, and has the potential to bond you to the characters so much, that you find your fingers gliding through the pages feeling each and every moment as your own. The characters jump off the pages and live right next to you, confiding their narratives for your consumption. Their stories keep you ever fixated like a friend retelling the most amazing story. Rarely does a debut author offer these types of mature characters.

Adam Pelzman has achieved being many things in his life --- a software entrepreneur, an attorney, a private investigator --- and now he can add author to that list thanks to his debut novel, TROIKA. Pelzman’s story is a beautifully painted mural that twists together the many different colors of people’s lives into one magnificent experience. He varies the perspectives every chapter, stringing you along every important moment right when it was needed. His characters bleed through the pages, and their energy reaches into your body.

"The characters will stay with me long after the book is layered in dust on my bookshelf.... TROIKA is literary gold, and Adam Pelzman is a shooting star."

It’s not one character’s story, but three. It begins on a normal Miami night, within a hole-in-the-wall strip joint, when Perla is working her regular shift scouting the crowd. She notices a man come through the door wearing a gold watch and immediately jumps at the opportunity. After an exchange at the table, she and Julian abscond to the Champagne Room and share a moment of passion.

Julian is the son of a famous hunter in a small village in Russia. His father was killed valiantly by a tiger, and it sent his mother spiraling into a whirlwind. She became addicted to drugs and began selling herself to get her fix. Consequently, Julian was taken from her. After killing a man and reuniting with her, they are forced to live life as different people. His mother would soon leave him too, having been defeated by her past. Julian’s future was bright, whether he knew it or not.

Soon Perla and Julian’s relationship becomes complicated, but he’s still the only thing she can care about besides her mother. She is soon greeted by a friend of Julian who bears a message. He has come with plane tickets and a mysterious stranger with a more peculiar proposition. Perla must decide if she will answer the request or remain in her current place.

Pelzman has reinvented the modern love story in this transcendent, magnetic, intoxicating, sexy tale of inspiring complex characters living lives that are just as complex. They are all on a crash course fated by the universe, bearing ripple effects across their lives. This novel is a true example of how life throws curveballs at us, and sometimes you need to just ride that wave.

TROIKA was instantly impressive in the way it presented itself. The characters will stay with me long after the book is layered in dust on my bookshelf. My ideas of love were challenged by themes and topics it explored. I was glued to every detail, and this world became my own. TROIKA is literary gold, and Adam Pelzman is a shooting star.

Reviewed by Robert Doyle on May 2, 2014

by Adam Pelzman

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
  • ISBN-10: 039916748X
  • ISBN-13: 9780399167485