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Voice of Conscience reviewed by Tracy Roberts / Write Field Services / March 15, 2008

One of the most important historical influences on literature is the classic Shakespearean Tragedy. Shakespeare's tragic heroes will be men of status and the misfortunes that transpire will be unexpected and extremely disastrous. The hero will suddenly fall from high status, honor, or happiness. We feel sympathy at the depths to which the hero is suddenly plummeted. As a result, the tragedy will be enormous. Such great suffering and misfortune will affect those he most cherishes. The principal sources of tragic emotions, especially pity, are essential ingredients in the tragedy.

In Voice of Conscience, author Behcet Kaya implements the attributes of a Shakespearean Tragedy to create a modern day story of love, loss, retribution, and redemption. The protagonist, Ramzi Ozocomert Junior., is a young boy living in Atamkoy, Turkey, in 1962. In Ramzi's culture, arranged marriages are often a part of their customs. Ramzi's parents are confronted by a family who want to arrange a marriage between their son and Ramzi's sister. Ramzi's parents deny the request and allow their daughter to marry a man she truly loves. As the family prepares for their daughter's wedding, Ramzi's parents and sister are brutally murdered. Ramzi, fearing he will be murdered, is forced to flee his home.

Ramzi embarks on a journey where he lives in emotional isolation relying on instincts and his upbringing to survive. As he becomes an adult, he develops a strong work ethic and grand career ambitions while at the same time being haunted by the memories of the brutal slaying of his family. While in England, he falls in love with Megan, a young American who is the daughter of wealthy and powerful business man. As Ramzi becomes involved with British High Society, and when he goes to America to become a successful business man, he embraces a new culture and values. Despite his new life and loving family, he is haunted by his family's death and overwhelming guilt for not avenging those who destroyed his childhood.

Within the story, such themes as honor, love, vengeance, obsession, and overwhelming guilt are predominant. Readers will gain insight into a culture and their beliefs while at the same time revealing human qualities that we all share. The blur between justice and revenge is an important theme.

Voice of Conscience is a compelling drama with the author incorporating the traits of a Tragedy very successfully. Readers will empathize with Ramzi's trials and tribulations. It is highly recommended to readers who enjoy compelling stories of human frailty.

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