Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: The Shimmer by David Morrell

Santa Fe, New Mexico police officer Dan Page tries hard to forget the violence that he sees in his everyday life, keeping as much of it from his wife, Tori, as he can. It is a total surprise to him when he returns home one day to find her gone, a note she left says that she is going to visit her mother, who lives 800 miles away. She never said a word about the trip to him, why she would abruptly leave like that is a mystery.

He tries not to worry about it, but after two days she still hasn't arrived at her mother's and no one has heard from her. He is beginning to be frantic and files a missing persons report. When a Sheriff from the small Texas town of Rostov calls, Dan fears the worst. But he says that Tori is fine, though he won't give any other information. He insists that Dan must come to Rostov and see for himself what is going on.

When Dan arrives in Rostov, he is confronted with a mystery that has intrigued and frightened people for hundreds of years. The strange Rostov Lights are a phenomenon that occur out over the badlands, on the mesa towards the Mexico border. They appear at night, hover and shine, changing colors and size, merging into one another and breaking apart again. But not everyone can see them. Those that can are transfixed, caught by their beauty, like Tori. Those that can't see them are either disgusted or annoyed, sure that the viewers are making it all up. Sometimes reactions are completely unexpected.

While Dan talks to Tori and begins to unravel the reasons that she left and why she stopped in Rostov, outside events overtake the couple and they are swept into a violent maelstrom, which is caused by the lights. Putting their own problems aside, they join forces with the local police to try to uncover the source of the lights and the reason they sometimes incite uncontrollable behavior or worse in the people who see them.

This book is non-stop action from the first page, I couldn't put it down. I was intrigued by the premise, the author based the story on lights seen in the real life town of Marfa, Texas. They occur in other places in the world, too: Norway, Thailand and Australia all have areas where similar lights are seen. The phenomenon has never been explained, though there are lots of theories. David Morrell took the fact of the lights and built an intriguing story around them. Part action, part suspense, part mystery, and a taut thriller, The Shimmer has it all. I really enjoyed this fast-paced book!

David Morrell has been called the father of the modern action novel (he created Rambo, after all). You can find out more about him and his books at his website and more about The Shimmer at http://www.shimmerbook.com/ .

The Shimmer is published by Vanguard Press, ISBN 978-1-59315-537-7

5 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I love a good thriller and this one sounds fascinating! Your review has made me curious about the lights.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is the kind of book that I love. Great review--I put it on my "to read" list!

Amy said...

This sounds like a fantastic thriller! Thank you for your great review! I was captivated from the first few lines on.

~ Amy

Zibilee said...

I just won a copy of this, and after reading your review I am excited to get to it. It sounds like a great read, and one I will be looking forward to. Great review, thanks!

sarah Pekkanen said...

This sounds great! I read a non-fiction book her wrote on writing, and it was terrific. So now I need to get this... thanks for the review.

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.