The subtitle of this book is "A Small Town Nightmare" and while the premise of the book would certainly be hard for any small town to deal with, I actually expected more of a nightmare quality. If you are thinking that this book was a "Nightmare on Elm" street type of thrill ride, it is not. What it is, though, is a captivating mystery thriller with a paranormal twist. Things have been so quiet in Ellerton, Alabama for so long, that a spate of murders takes the small town Sheriff by surprise. In his attempt to get to the bottom of things he is aided by his nephew, who just happens to be a reporter for a paranormal newspaper and in town for an interview. In fact, the characters were the thing that I liked best about this book. Maze fills his book with a number of characters that reek of small town personalities. I was fascinated by the ease with which he gave these characters life and a presence. The story line, though, left me a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong. It was a good story, and I will most likely read other books and stories by this author. I did not dislike it. I just expected something more. There were mainly two things that didn't live up to my expectations in the story. First, I felt Maze did not do an adequate job of describing the death scenes to really give this a horror bent. Secondly, I kept waiting for certain elements of the story to tie together, but they never did.
All in all, I feel this is a good first effort by a new author, and will willingly read more by him. In fact, I may like future books more as my expectations may be more realistic.
26 January 2012
After reading a few of Allan Leverone's short stories and one of his books, I can say that he is a great new voice in suspense thrillers for me. In fact, I have mentioned to several of my friends that he can definitely hold his own with the likes of Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe. I love the way that he develops both his characters and the story itself and things unfold. In both Heartlessand Darkness Falls, which I reviewed earlier, we think we know the characters and which way the story is going to develop, only to have the end remind us that things are never what they seem, at least not in suspense thrillers. In this story, the stunning twist at the end will make you sit up and say "WHAT!?"
Great job, Allan. Yet another success.
Great job, Allan. Yet another success.
25 January 2012
Tenzing Norbu, or Ten, is a dectective for the LAPD. Although he is commonly believed to be the rising star of the squad, Ten is tired of the LAPD. Then he is grazed by a bullet while answering a call. As he says, that is a wake up call. Ten quits and decided to become a PI and go out on his own. He quickly finds out that going it alone is no safer than being a detective for the LAPD. What follows is a classic mystery in the vein of those by such as Earl Stanley Gardner, Sue Grafton, or Micheal Connelly. Interestingly, Mr. Hendricks credits the same authors for inspiring him. If he was trying to emulate them, he was a success. As a pleasant surprise, Hendricks and Lindsay have given their main character a little twist to set him apart from the myriad of PIs out there in fiction land. Ten spent his formative years in a Tibetan monastery being raised by the monks, one of which is his father. This experience gives Ten a different way of looking at things, which he uses in his everyday life in various ways. In addition, though, Ten is not just a spiritual person, but very human and imperfect in addition. Following his thought patterns and actions was a thouroughly enjoyable experience as I read through this book. Add to Ten a cast of characters ranging from an ex-con techie sidekick to Tank the persian blue cat that shares Ten's life and you have a story that will draw you in and keep you turning the pages wanting to know how it all turns out. A wonderful first book by both Hendricks and Lindsay. I understand that it is the first in what is to be a series of books with Ten as the protagonist. I certainly hope so. I am looking forward to reading more about Ten and his cohorts.
This book was a delightful mystery with a historical backdrop. It reminded me quite a bit of a cross between a classic Gothic mystery and a game of Clue. Like the game of clue the setting of the book is almost entirely restricted to the house. Like the classic Gothic mystery there is a heroine who just happens to be hired to be a companion to an ailing lady, there are numerous family members who enter and exit the story, and there are the servants. Plus a mysterious gentleman. All of this adds up to a wonderful romp from Janis Patterson, who is a new author to me. I found this story to be a wonderful escape with enough twists and innuendos to keep me interested in the outcome and enough classic heroes, heroines and villians to make the story enjoyable. I am certainly looking forward to reading more from this author.