Full disclosure: I do not know Tom Alberti nor have I ever had any communication with him regarding this book, any of his other books, or any other subject. Mr. Alberti was present at the Superstition Mountain Museum's 2020 Authors' Day on 29 February, an event I also attended as a local author. I am an author of historical romances, contemporary gothic romances, and assorted non-fiction.
Tom Alberti was sitting next to Ron Feldman at the Museum on Saturday, but he did not respond, to the best of my knowledge, to Feldman's outburst when I asked the guys to quiet their voices.
I downloaded the free Kindle sample of Alberti's book, The Horseman. I think I made it through four pages before giving up.
I don't think there's any question that this is a Gary Stu book. The character's name is Tom Blandini, and his beautiful wife's name is Dominique. Author Tom Alberti dedicates the book to his wife Dru Dominique Alberti. So that issue is out of the way.
Let's get right down to the nitty gritty of the product.
First of all, there's no front matter. What is it about these self-publishing authors that they don't believe in copyright pages?
Second of all, the formatting is screwed up. Block paragraphs annoy the hell out of me to begin with, but when there are indented paragraphs interspersed, I lose my temper.
As you can see, there are also problems with punctuation: missing commas, missing quotation marks, misplaced periods. This sort of thing is rampant.
And it gets worse very quickly.
Just copying and pasting via the Kindle doesn't capture the bizarre formatting, so I've done screen shots, but this is just the sample, so it's also available on the Look Inside feature.
But there's more wrong with this than just the inconsistent street abbreviations -- Ave. in some places, Street spelled out in others -- or random capitalizations. There's the matter of historical context.
Maybe the readers of Tom Alberti's books don't care. He has just one review on Amazon and two on Goodreads (plus two more, 4-star reviews from himself). The problem is that Arizona's history is politically complex, and with no historical timeline for this book, it's impossible to understand what's going on.
By five or six pages into the book, I still don't know what year it takes place. Arizona became a state in 1912; before that it was a territory. For a while it was part of the New Mexico Territory, and was even the Confederate Territory of Arizona for a couple of years. Alberti never mentions its status, so that's no clue. He mentions the railroad going from Tucson to El Paso, but a brief little bit of Googling tells me the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad didn't extend to Tucson until 1912, a few months after statehood.
However, if the story takes place after 1912, there should be motorcars on the streets, and telephones would be available for making various arrangements. For example, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, had its own telephone company in 1881.
I'm guessing, therefore, that Mr. Alberti isn't really interested in historical accuracy. He's just Gary Stu-ing himself into a kind of literary cosplaying without the need to follow the rules of grammar, story construction, readable formatting, or much of anything else. If he has fun doing it, well, that's okay, but I can't recommend these books for anyone else to pay hard-earned money for. The quality isn't even up to vanity press standards.
Rumor has it that Mr. Alberti didn't sell any copies of his books at the Museum event, but that's not surprising. Very few people sold any books at all, and no one sold a lot.
Half star for the insult to authors who try.