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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane) (Volume 2)
Richard Gleaves
Progress: 85%
One Blood
Qwantu Amaru
Progress: 30%
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel
Ben Aaronovitch
Progress: 57%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 47%
Lava Storm In the Neighborhood (Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories) (Volume 1)
Paul D. Scavitto, Sharon Willett, Stephanie Baskerville, Robert Tozer, Shae Hamrick, Christian W. Freed, Rebecca Lacy, Douglas G. Clarke, Mike Boggia, Sylvia Stein, Gail Harkins, Glenda Reynolds, Lynette White, Randy Dutton, Joyce Shaughnessy, Amos Andrew Parker, Laura S
Progress: 76%

The Hawley Book of the Dead

The Hawley Book of the Dead - Chrysler Szarlan

by Chrysler Szarlan


The beginning grabs you right away. Both poetic and shocking, the reader is brought into a world of a woman (Reve) and her husband who do a stage magic act, their twin daughters, and an incident with a gun that went wrong. Overshadowing it all is the unexplained scent of lilacs.


It continues as a story of a woman dealing with bereavement and police suspicion and quickly becomes a mystery when a mysterious man in a black suit stalks the widow.

From there it slows down rather a lot. There are teasing moments when a different kind of magic is hinted at and locals are reluctant to go out to Hawley five corners, but apart from depressing doom and death it's mainly a story of the widow and her daughters settling into their new home, Reve's childhood home.


I have to admit that I glazed over about a quarter of the way through, still waiting for something significant to happen. The occasional teases never seemed to bear fruit and if they eventually did, my mind had wandered and I missed it. There was a lot there that could have been a gripping story, but it just went on about day to day details of normal life for far too long and lost my interest.