Review of Dutchman and the Devil: The Lost Story

Author: Pat Parish

Publisher:, 2013

After my morning run at the local park I decided to use the free tickets to the Superstition Mountain Museum that I had obtained as part of the Phoenix Public Library’s attempts to spread local culture.  I arrived at the small museum at around 10 am, and by 11:30 AM was finished there.  As a memento I figured I would buy a book or two, and I accordingly stumbled across this 189-page gem.  I started it when I got home after 1 PM and have already finished it, and am beginning this review at 9:22 PM.  In between those hours I took a 2-hour nap and spent an hour between dinner and an evening run, and another 45 minutes tending to personal affairs.  Thus the book took me around 4 hours and 45 minutes to read.  Nothing speaks more to the quality of a book than that.

The book reads like a thriller and the author’s ability to tell a story of adventure and intrigue is uncanny.  Among treasure stories–not a genre I read often, but not one that I avoid deliberately–I can think only of Treasure Island and Tom Sawyer as superior.  There is little wasted space.  I would not hesitate to buy other books from this author, nor to recommend her, and I believe there is much that is teachable in this one, were my programs ever to succeed.  It is clearly a five-star work.

The book is not perfect, however, and in the interest of helping the author proceed from very good to great, I have two major criticisms.

The first of these is that towards the end of the book the author begins to be sexually explicit in a way that she had not been before and that I do not believe was necessary to make the book more intriguing, since the story is littered with intrigue as it is.  While I understand that sex sells and that this is more true in our degenerate culture than in almost any other, I believe that the addition of this sexually explicit material subtracted from, rather than added to, the value of this book.  If the extraneous material did not subtract value from it, it certainly did nothing to contribute to the content and substance of it.

The second criticism I have is that the book was not copy-edited.  Several typographical and formatting errors remain in the text, including confusion between two main characters, Waltz and Weiser, on two occasions.  This is a big deal, and a cost-effective editing service like mine, covering not just contents but also copy-editing, would be a good investment for not just this author but any author looking to publish.

With that said, I believe this story–whether nonfiction or fiction, and it probably has claims to both–is as well-written by Mrs. Parish as it can possibly be, and I send my deepest congratulations to her on a job well-done.