Review – Monarchs and Mendicants by Dan Groat


Synopsis: Beware of a man who has nothing to lose.A Navy Seal suffering from PTSD and a painful past returns to St. Louis from Afghanistan and loses everything. Homeless, he wants only to find work and be left alone, but he is drawn into a group of street people who are being hunted by a serial killer and used by the local mob boss. To save himself, he must fight his way from tragedy to triumph and lead his “friends” on a journey from despair to hope.

The story pace in the beginning is a little slow but quickly picks up once Gifford starts working for a contractor cleaning bricks. Gifford doesn’t like to think of himself as homeless and shuns making interactions with others. As the story progresses, Gifford builds relationships with Stephen, Edward, Pop, Johnny and Ambrose. I was glad to see the emotional growth of Gifford into a leader of the community. Each character is unique and believable. Although I wasn’t always sure what Edward was trying to say, it did make me sad to see the decline in his spirit after Johnny died. The author also does a good job of describing the concerns and hopes of homeless life.

Gifford is pretty smart, skilled and doesn’t have any addictions that would prompt you as the reader to understand why he remains homeless.Unfortunately, there are so many veterans who feel like Gifford that the paperwork process is too much and don’t claim their benefits. The mystery of the Hacker and Movay’s brick trucks definitely added the intrigue needed to keep the reader interested. I don’t want to give the story away but I liked the unexpected twist at the end involving Stephen. Overall, good read for anyone who loves a thriller mixed with action and suspense.



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