THE REAL STORY, a mystery

This psychological thriller should come with a serious health warning… it’s VERY addictive.

Joe Belmont is a tough, smart, 1st-year medical student who puts in sixty-hour weeks as a waiter to support himself. Then without warning his saintly mother is murdered in her modest home, and his uncle, his only living relative, dies in a suspicious auto accident. Now, for no apparent reason, whoever killed them are trying to kill him.

From multiple hiding places within the Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up, to the Jersey shore hospital where he was placed at bedrest for 12 nightmarish months, to the financial district of Zurich, Switzerland, Joe and his brilliant girlfriend, Lara, run for their lives.

Lara, who’s into all kinds of Freudian hocus pocus, thinks the answer is locked up deep in Joe’s unconscious mind. Joe thinks that the more practical answer is to get a gun, learn how to shoot the frigging thing, and get the hell out of the City of Brotherly Love… But then what?

Dr. Art Smukler, a psychiatrist in private practice and on the teaching faculty at UCLA, has won numerous teaching and writing awards. He is now a full-time author who uses all his psychological skills to create characters that you’ll fall in love with.



5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review!

Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers’ Favorite

What happens when an ordinary medical student discovers he is trailed by hitmen trying to take his life? He makes this discovery immediately after his mother and uncle are found dead under mysterious circumstances. Joe Belmont goes on the run after burying his only remaining relatives. His mother was a saint, she was poor and lived her life for the Lord. So why does she have a private Swiss account with a lot of money? Joe did not have a close relationship with his uncle, but he knew the man did not drink alcohol. So why was he found dead at the wheel of his car with alcohol in his system? Joe wants answers to all these questions and more. He makes the decision to search his past and dreams to find the missing links to all his questions. In The Real Story by Arthur Smukler, MD, suspense, thriller, and romance await you.

The Real Story is an action-packed novel. Joe’s story is full of suspense and mystery. His entire world turns upside down, and he realizes he has been living a lie. As Joe narrates his story, he continues to have flashbacks from his past. These flashbacks fit in very well with the story and give a glimpse of why Joe made his decisions. Joe is a loyal friend and a kind human being. This side of him is brought to light when he talks about his friendship with Jeff and the relationship he builds with Lara. I loved his compassion for the victims, people like Mr. DeAngelo, who just wanted to better their lives. Most people today would have looked out for themselves and forgotten the innocent people caught in the crossfire. This is a beautiful message to preach, given that this book is written in our present time. The mention of masks and the Covid-19 effects made me relate to this story. I was rooting for Joe and his friends and praying for a happy ending for all of them. Arthur Smukler made wonderful and relatable characters. He added humor to the characters, and this brightened up the story. I cannot wait to read more of this author’s creations.

THE REAL STORY: a mystery


a real page turner

August 21, 2022

Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase

Non stop action, so beautifully designed, ready for the silver screen. Art Smukler is the next big thing! Sooooo enjoyable.

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THE REAL STORY: a mystery


Great thiller

July 21, 2022

Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase

Loved the story. Kept you guessing. Couldn’t put it down.

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THE REAL STORY: a mystery

E. caine

What a fun, exciting ride

July 17, 2022

Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase

This is an exciting roller coaster ride. Joe Belmont, a 1st year medical student is struggling financially. Suddenly his Mother is murdered and he enters a maelstrom of violence, murder and continuing questions about his Mother, his family and himself. There is mystery, love, self discovery which unfolds rapidly. I couldn’t put the book down and read it within 24 hours. I would recommend this book, for all who want to have an exciting, fun time.

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The REAL STORY is a major redo of CHASING BACKWARDS, a psychological murder mystery. It was written 11 years ago and was just a smidgen away from being published by Putnam. My agent, Maureen Lasher and her husband and partner Eric Lasher of Maureen Lasher Literary Agency, loved the book. They were certain it would do well.

They were wrong.

At the last minute, Putnam decided against publication.

Eventually, I decided to self-publish with Telemachus Press. CHASING BACKWARDS did pretty well. It sold over 3000 copies, if you count both EBOOK and Paperback editions. It wasn’t the hundreds of thousands that I dreamed about.

But, I was definitely hooked on writing.

A very good friend, a psychologist, once said, “It’s not the result; it’s the process.” He was both right and wrong. I love writing but I also love selling my books. So here I am back at it, and having a great time.

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#mystery #suspense #romance #cozy mystery #feelgoodlovers