Raw, dark fiction with emotionally tormented characters is not my fare of choice. Yet, after reading Joe Café, I knew I had to read The Biker as well. Why? Because Mader is a genius with dialogue, tension, mood and, most important to me, character building. I know of no other writer today who can give every single actor in his books such depth, and such complexity. He turns writing into art of the highest caliber.
The Biker grabbed me from the first sentence. The empathy and insight Mader has for his characters and the skill with which he brings it makes me forget the tough language, forget that the story takes place in a part of the city I’d rather not know about, forget that there is constant and very real danger, forget that I am afraid of the world his characters survive in. This is the underbelly of civilized society, filled with drugs, death and violence – all things I fear and abhor. But Mader brought me there and made me share his compassion for the disenfranchised, showing that no one is totally despicable, everyone is, well … human, that there is good, and often nobility, in all of us.
Read this book. You won’t be disappointed. You can be sure I will read Mader’s next book – even though I don’t read dark fiction. Come to think of it, in spite of the subject matter, it didn’t seem all that dark. That’s how good it is. Brilliant.