Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where Darkness Dwells - by Glen R. Krisch - Good, but not quite great

4 of 5 Stars

Glen R. Krisch is a new writer to me and I'm very glad I read this, his second novel.

The setting is the small mining town of Coal Hollow, along the Illinois River.   It's July, 1934, the mine long abondoned.  George Banyon and Jimmy Fowler are best of friends off on an adventure, in the middle of the night, to search for  a two hundred pound  albino catfish trolling a vast underground lake.

They never find the catfish, but what they do discover leaves them running for their very lives.

There are strange things going on in Coal Hollow.  Why would men crawl out of a hole in Betty Mae's basement?  Why would her father leave through that same hole willingly and why would his name appear on a tombstone, in the family plot, the next morning?

For me the story seemed a bit unwieldy. There's the story of lost innocence, a man running from his past, an alcoholic father, a ghost story, a tale of the Underground Railroad and so many others, all interwoven with a place where the dying go, but do not die and the lengths these "people" will go to to keep their secret.

Despite it's shortcomings, Where Darkness Dwells, does have a lot going for it.  It's one of those stories where no-one is safe (love those).  There's the originality of the tale, an underground society living in an environment where you never age and are magically healed.  If you go above ground you face rapid deterioration.  And having to kill to keep your secret.

There's also a potluck at Jane Fowler's place that was very well written, like a beutiful piece of Americana.
Overall a wonderful read that I highly recommend.  Enjoy.

Available from Amazon.com for the Kindle and for free from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library for those with Amazon Prime.

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