No Laughing Matter by Lawrence W. Gold book review
book review

Book Review: No Laughing Matter

NO LAUGHING MATTER by Lawrence M. Gold, M.D. is a unique thriller that shows how danger isn’t only in dark alleys. Check out what Jadidsa Perez has to say in her book review of this indie thriller.

No Laughing Matter

by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

ISBN: 9798408609765

Print Length: 429 pages

Reviewed by Jadidsa Perez

A unique thriller that shows how danger isn’t only in dark alleys.

No Laughing Matter is a novel that follows Alex Broderick, an older stand-up comedian who is well loved by fans despite a rocky personal life. After meeting Marcus, a man younger than her but with an interest in older women, they begin a relationship despite receiving criticisms from family and friends. 

Alex’s adult offspring, Pam and Mateo, become disgruntled when Alex writes them off the will and when they lose their financial cushion. Pam and Mateo are in debt to a dangerous man who will ensure he gets his money back, regardless of any blood spilled. Tensions begin to rise exponentially. Alex is in a tug-of-war between the love of her life and her children, all while trying to reinstate her love for comedy.

This thriller does a great job of remaining focus on aspects of Alex’s story other than the thrills, like Alex and her comedy. When she’s introduced, she’s gotten off a set and is glowing from the thunderous applause she received from the crowd. Having a female character be so in-tune with comedy and the logistics behind it is a cool experience to read about. She’s also independent and authentically complex; as intelligent as she is, she admits to not being a great mom. This book does not feature an underdog character to root for, but rather it’s made up of people with terrible stories to tell. In that way, readers can empathize with the struggle of forgiveness and moving on. 

There is a lot to be excited about with this book, but the plot can feel a little thin at times. Much of it can feel like telling rather than showing—i.e. telling us about Alex’s personality rather than letting us see it through her actions. It can also be hard to pin down how fast or slow Marcus and Alex’s relationship is progressing without time transitions, and the thriller aspect plays second fiddle to the romance. When the more suspenseful parts do come up, they are really captivating.

The dialogue has a number of great moments, even if some remain confusing. The infusion of Spanish words doesn’t always feel natural, and some dialogue can feel rushed when approaching a pivotal part of the plot. When it comes to Alex and Lola though, two older accomplished women connecting about life, I was more than a little enthralled. 

No Laughing Matter is a distinctive thriller with a fun side of comedy and ebullience. 

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