So, in record time (I finished it in two days!!!) I'm cranking out the next and am halfway through with the third but let's leave that for later.
It was about 2 years ago or so that I was browsing my way through the library's downloadable audio collection and I came across a not-so-little book called City of Masks by Daniel Hecht. A haunted house in New Orleans' Garden Distict? SIGN ME UP! Let me tell you, gentle readers, it wasn't long before I was driving down the interstate at about 45 mph in another world. Unfortunately for me, Mrs. Roomie was out of town at the time and I had forgotten to leave any lights on in or outside of the house. I sat in my car for about 20 minutes trying to get over the image I had in my mind of turning into the kitchen and seeing a pair a shoes and a snout try to scooch themselves back into the corner on the other side of the kitchen...it was a near thing. So, needless to say that I urge this book on all of the patrons I know who enjoy a frightening little tale.
Land of Echoes is the second book in this series featuring paranormal psychologist Cree Black and I LuRvEd iT! It wasn't quite as scary overall as CoM but it had it's moments. I did have to have Two Weeks Notice playing in the background while I read to try and tamp down most of the fantods I got from this book.
EEEEK! So, CoM was a haunted house thriller and LoE is a tale of possession on the Navajo reservation in the lonely, flat, desolate desert of New Mexico. Cree is called out to a school for gifted Native American students because a 15 year old boy is suffering from bizaare, violent, agonizing seizures with not apparent physical cause. He no longer feels or recognizes his right arm, instead identifying his arm near his spine and his shoulder on his neck. When in the grip of the seizure, his eyes, arms, and lungs act independent from one another and he becomes violent. The woman who started the school, Julieta, has her own reasons for wanting the young boy well, but she knows if word got out about the boys symptoms that the people's innate superstition would soon cause the school to go under. Cree is under the gun with little information and suspicious school employees snooping around.
I think it is the surrounding desert that plays just as much a part in making this book scary as much as the boy's horrific symptoms. The stark terrain, jagged skylines, and arrid conditions lend to a feeling of abandonment and isolation that soon becomes almost unbearable. On the other hand, I'm now going to HAVE to get a book on the Navajo Indians. I don't know how they felt about their portrayal in Hecht's work, but I am FaScInAtEd!
I used to think this commercial was stupid, but after reading this book, it's not a little unsettling...read it for yourself to find out why!
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