Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Sinful Man

The Sinful Man, Keith Rommel, Sunbury Press, 2014

Leo is running through a night-time forest, frantically trying to escape unseen, but evil, creatures that are chasing him. He stumbles upon a small house, and pounds on the door. Twyla, the elderly woman inside, eventually lets him in.

Leo's only thought is to find a phone, or the nearest road, or maybe he can outrun his tormentors (in an unfamiliar forest at night). Twyla tries to tell him that there is no phone, or road, and with an injured shoulder, Leo should forget about trying to outrun the creatures that are waiting for him. She also tries to tell Leo that his presence at this time is not an accident.

Included is the story of Leo's immediate past. He became a junkie with "help" from Saint Nick, the local drug kingpin. Leo's parents have thrown him out of the house. Leo wanders the streets in a torrential rainstorm. A local priest tries to help, but Leo is not interested. Leo owes Saint Nick a considerable amount of money, and really needs a "hit" to calm his physical agony.

Back at the house, someone else is pounding on the door, desperate to get in. Keir, a young boy who lives with Twyla, eventually lets him in, and takes him to a different part of the house. It is vital that Leo and the other man don't see each other until the right time. The other man's thoughts are also consumed with escape, and Keir tries to tell him that it's not possible. The other man tries to escape, but does not get very far.

Twyla takes Leo into a different room in the house, which opens into a vast room, full of shelves containing a book for every person who has ever lived. Leo's name is on one of those books. He also gets to confront the other man, who Twyla says is the source of all of Leo's problems. Is it Saint Nick?

The author does an excellent job at turning up the tension in the first few pages, and keeping it going until the end. It also gets nice and weird, without going overboard, by the end. This one is very much worth reading.

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