||September 6, 2012
If you were to die right now, would you have any regrets?
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Cailean stands beneath a spotlight in a blinding snowstorm. She has no idea where she is or how she got there, but she senses something moving around her in the darkness outside the light.
When the ominous presence calling himself Sariel makes himself known, he declares that he is Death Incarnate and that Cailean has died. He has taken her to the Aperture, a place between the living and the dead, where he will force her to face the sins of her past in exchange for twenty-four hours of life to try and right her wrongs. But what she must do in return for this precious time is unthinkable.
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The Lurking Man is Keith Rommelís second novel in the Thanatology Series, the first being The Cursed Man. It is not a sequel as such as none of the characters or locales are the same, other than a very brief mention of Dr Anna Lee and Sunnyside Capable Care late in the book; rather it is a further story exploring the meaning of death*.
What takes place after we die? Some believe that there is an afterlife. If so what actually happens? Think about it. What do you see, who do you meet, as time unfolds what events occur? What happens first, what follows next then what follows that? Take a moment and contemplate. Scary isnít it. All your current drivers and everything you currently are have been removed. You donít need to go back to work as you donít have bills anymore. But what do you have? What replaces your life and its needs and wants?
Cailean finds herself in this very situation, waking in a strange place with no knowledge of how she got there and a feeling she is being watched by a strange unseen presence. What unfolds is a story told in flashback, interspersed with reflection, as piece by piece her life and the things she has done are revealed. As Cailean comes to terms with the person she was and the suffering she has caused we have reason to suspect ulterior motives may be at work. While this is indeed the case the overall story is really more about Caileanís relationships with the people around her and her own selfish self delusion. While her actions have dire consequences for those around her itís not really her faultÖ is it?
Once again Keith Rommel has written an excellent story with the characters, especially Cailean, jumping off the page. While the Cursed Man was more of a horror/thriller in the vein of Stephen King The Lurking Man is a deeper examination of who we are, how selfish we can become and how easily we delude ourselves, even if something else may be at work.
The Lurking Man once again showcases a unique talent in author Keith Rommel and is well worth a read. Recommended.
* Thanatology is the scientific study of death. It investigates the mechanisms and forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period, as well as wider social aspects related to death; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatology
Review by Nigel ~ http://www.booklore.co.uk/
Oh, For the Hook of the Book
"Rommel did it to me once again with The Lurking Man! I was found still reading in the early morning after a sleepless night of page turning as he brought me a completely twisted story-telling symphony of mental horror. His antiquated, gothic style in The Cursed Man took on a more modern feel with a tougher character in this sequel, reminding me that Death has no compassion when it comes to his selfish nature. Readers, the sinister mood that seeps through this book will keep you turning pages as if you are possessed by a time clock to complete the tale...or else. The shocking conclusion will leave you questioning your own life for a very long time."
Last year, I had the chance to review Rommel's The Cursed Man and absolutely loved the intense world he created so it's not a shock that I jumped at the opportunity to continue the Thanatology series. Once again, Rommel quickly swept me into a dramatic and emotional world. Experiencing the chaos that is Cailean's life first-hand could only be described as a roller coaster ride. It was as if I was plummeting through the depths of hell alongside Cailean as she finds herself captive between the world we live in and the world beyond. Will her time with Sariel change her or will she deteriorate?
As in the Cursed Man, Rommel has crafted the most enthralling plot with equally captivating characters that are frustratingly realistic. At first, Cailean angered me to no end but as the story progressed, you learn so much about her and the anger begins to subside. Does it go away? Heck no. The emotion that dwells within the pages of The Lurking Man is heartbreaking, evoking deep thought.
"Some beg for a moment of their life back to try and complete the things they feel have been left undone. Others are happy to see me and express their appreciation for relieving their pain. But most of the people are truly angry, lost souls with no chance at redemption. But you?"
The Lurking Man is a brilliantly constructed and emotional tale that will linger in your thoughts for days, weeks. Once you begin reading, you will not be able put it down. I highly recommend reading Rommel's Thanatology series as it is brilliant, enthralling and unforgettable. I'm dying to find out what Keith will come up with next!
Review by Jennifer ~ www.fictitiousmusings.com
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