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Story Time E.C.McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Dead Souls
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SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
DEAD SOULS - 2007
by Michael Laimo
Leisure Books
PB 325 pages
ISBN: 0-8439-5429-9

August 2005 -
Maimed and mad, David Mackey has spent many blissfully peaceful years in a mental hospital. For so long he's been so calm that he has nearly free run of the hospital where he lives. All is well in his life until he hears a voice. The voice tells him that the blood of the man who killed his parents and made him like this, is returning to Wellfield. This launches David into an entirely different orbit. Determined and murderous, he makes his way back home.

August, 1988 -
Benjamin Conroy leads his family through a ritual. A ritual of odd blends of myth, both Christian and Egyptian, very Aliester Crowley. Benjamin made his family scar themselves on their chests with the sign of the ankh. Ben has some very secretive views of the bible and the afterlife. He's also violent enough, and rewarding enough, to force compliance in his family.

September, 2005 -
Johnny Petrie lives under the severe yoke of his Mother's Fundamentalist Christian religion. Carried to repressive extremes, Johnny would escape if he could, but until recently, he had no life ring to grab onto. Now he just got a letter in the mail, and instead of allowing his Mother to read it first, like he should, like he must, Johnny took a chance and opened it. It tells him wonderful things. It promises freedom.

Michael Laimo's novel, DEAD SOULS, is just that: A collection of emotionally damaged people, all moving toward one another, converging on the town of Wellfield; home of the infamous Wellfield murders of 1988, when a local cop killed the entire family of a local pastor, shot in the head execution-style, and got away with it. This is the tale of how and why.

DEAD SOULS is a good, solid read, but is nearly perfunctory. It goes through the motions of various plot devices without twists or turns. The various things the characters must go through are unexpected, but never surprising. What's more, Laimo promises alternate worlds of Gods or Demons, but never lets us see those worlds. The story remains rooted on this world, giving us nothing more than a few zombies to mull over. In short, Laimo doesn't let his imagination soar. So while this is a good solid read, the trip that Laimo prepared us for in the beginning chapters, never leaves the station.

The "Hollywood sequel" epilogue ending was also a bad touch. As Shakespeare said so many centuries ago, "No epilogue I pray you, for your play needs no excuse." (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Three Bookwyrms.

BookWyrmBookWyrmBookWyrm

This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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