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The only issue that I have is a fairly large one. For all of its building the Usher saga, in the end, it doesn’t really matter that the story is about the Ushers. The same story could have been told about any overly wealthy, eccentric family. There is nothing that truly ties this story directly to the original. That said, the plot is fantastic, and I loved reading it. McCammon is one of my all-time favorites, and I will be doing many more reviews of his work. This one falls under the radar a bit in his catalogue, but you owe it to yourself to give it a read. Creepy stuff.
But, there is plenty of excitement. I don’t anticipate that the re-write of Behind the Red Curtain will take too terribly long – which probably means it will be a death spiral of sadness that lasts a year. It will be something special to see another book alongside Strawberries on the shelf. Proof that I can do this shit a second time. Because that is the last real test, right? If I can write a second, there is no reason why I can’t write a 10th.
Anyway, they didn’t acknowledge Father’s Day with me, and that stings. They are little kids who don’t even really comprehend the day, but still. I was hoping for a little something. Just a word or two. Don’t get me wrong, I know they love me and they show it often, but this was the first time I was a father on the day for fathers. I am sure that all of this would thrill their biological father, as he has recently gone on a tirade about how it came to his attention that they call me Dad. Seriously, the man is ridiculous, and far more ignorant to things than he realizes.
On top of all that, I ended up getting in a fight with my own father. So yeah, Sunday sucked.
Robert R. McCammon
Bram Stoker Award winner
The story of a woman caught in the sixties, who steals a newborn baby from the hospital, and the mother who will do anything to track her down.
This book, as all McCammon tomes, is exceptionally well crafted and written. There is no fluff in one of his books, which is something I can’t say for many notable horror/thriller authors. Every plot point has meaning, and every detail, a purpose.
Having said all of that, for me, the book lost steam at around the midpoint. The beginning is so good, with details of Mary terror, Storm Front, and Laura’s marriage – I was absolutely hooked. Mary Terror may be one of the most interesting villains in literature. But, once the board was set, and all that was left was the chase, I grew weary.
There was never a time that I thought something was unnecessary, but by the nature of the plot, the chase simply wasn’t as interesting as finding out about the characters themselves. In the end, the story went in the only direction it could. Spoiler – Laura catches up to Mary, they tussle, Laura gets her baby back. Unless McCammon was going to take a big risk with a plot twist, that was the only way it could go. How we got there was fun, but we were always going to get there, and that just isn’t as compelling.
So, we have a story full of fantastic characters that exist in a plot that can’t sustain them for the entire ride. Even so, I highly suggest taking the ride anyway, because there is so much to love here.