Monday, July 13, 2009

The Shimmer, by David Morrell

(hb; 2009)

From the inside flap:

"When police officer Dan Page's wife disappears, her trail leads to Rostov, a remote Texas town where unexplained phenomena attract hundreds of spectators each night. Not merely curious, these onlookers are compelled to reach this tiny community and gaze at the mysterious Rostov Lights.

"But more than the faithful are drawn there. A gunman begins shooting at the lights, screaming 'Go back to hell where you came from!' then turns his rifle on the innocent bystanders. As more and more people are drawn to the scene of the massacre, the stage is set for even greater bloodshed.

"To save his wife, Page must solve the mystery of the Rostov Lights. In the process, he uncovers a deadly government secret dating back to the First World War. The lights are more dangerous than anyone ever imagined, but more deadly are those who try to exploit forces beyond their control."

Review:

Fun, blaze-through read, this. It possesses Morrell's trademark elements: slightly-left-of-center quirkiness, solid enthralling action sequences and plot, and believable/relatable characters.

In short, this is a good book by a great writer.

Be sure to read the post-novel "Afterword: Specters in the Dark," where Morrell writes about the real-life inspiration(s) for this novel -- namely, the mysterious lights at Marfa, Texas, and similiar lights that appear at the "Hessdalen valley in Norway, a remote part of the Mekong River in Thailand, and a rugged area in northeastern Australia." An additional inspiration for the novel: the story behind the 1956 film Giant, which was filmed near Marfa, Texas.

Check this out.

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