Saturday, February 16, 2008

"The Dead Whisper On" by T. L. Hines at Absolute Write

Hi all:

I have a new review up at Absolute Write. It's for the thriller, The Dead Whisper On by T. L. Hines.

Here's how my review begins:

T.L. Hines' sophomore effort The Dead Whisper On is to his stellar debut novel Waking Lazarus what The Empire Strikes Back is to Star Wars: A New Hope, i.e., a deeper, more complex story that encompasses the larger community and not only one individual's quest. Though the story is told almost exclusively from the viewpoint of "Canada Mac," Candace MacHugh, her story is the tale of the whole community of Butte, Montana, which in turn represents any town anywhere. In telling Canada's story, Hines comments on us all, as we cling to the past, hear what we want to hear, leave ourselves open to evil yet attractive influences, and refuse to take responsibility for the present.

At story's start, Canada is a garbage collector, a former member of the blast crew in Butte's now defunct copper mines, and she lives in a rinky-dink trailer, decorated with teetering towers of moldy magazines and newspapers that threaten to topple over and bury her. But since the whole setup was left to her by her beloved and idolized father, dead these 11 years, her life is in a holding pattern waiting for what she doesn't know. In such a state, she is more than susceptible to the supernatural when she begins seeing shadows that undulate and speak with her father's voice. Sure enough, without much trouble, her disembodied father convinces her to join his underground worldwide movement of do-gooder ghosts and spooks, who travel to disaster sites for warnings and rescues. The catch is that first she needs to "die." Then she needs to leave Butte behind ...

Click here to read the rest of my thoughts.



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