Unbury Carol

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Unbury Carol was a thoroughly enjoyable read and something I donít think Iíve ever come across before: a supernatural western thriller. But let me clarify...

Yes, it was supernatural and yes, it was a western, but it could have gone either way and thatís whatís special about Unbury Carol.

The supernatural element was spooky. Without adding any spoilers, it addressed one of manís basic fears and twisted it into entities, apparitions, and just plain visions but it did so in such a way that the reader wasnít really asked to suspend disbelief--might be the supernatural acting on humans, might be strong emotions clouding reality. Youíre never really sure--I like that.

The western element was a good ride; plain, old, cowboy stuff. Outlaws, deputies, sheriffs, saloons, cathouses, outhouses, horses, and trails. If Marshall Dillon had ridden up on one of the characters, I wouldnít have been at all surprised. We all seem to enjoy a story of the old west, even if we wonít admit it.

And a thriller? Yes. No doubt. The suspense builds nicely, if a bit sporadically, but donít start reading the last third of the book unless youíve got a few hours to kill because you wonít be putting it down.

The characters were fleshed out perfectly. I had no problem at all seeing them in my mindís eye. And the ďbad guyĒ was a stroke of genius. Again, no spoilers, but when you run into the triggerman named Smoke, youíll definitely remember him.

Supernatural western thriller--three words you donít hear together often.

The only problem I had with this book--the only reason I canít give it 5 stars--is ďhellís heaven,Ē a phrase spoken by ever single character--and I canít figure out why.

Iím fairly well-read and fairly well-traveled, and other than ďHellís HeavenĒ being an absolutely horrible, new-age musical piece by Enigma, Iíve never seen or heard the term before. And it got old pretty quickly. When every character says it, you can imagine.

I could have missed something, but I donít know what, and I firmly believe an editor should be canned and sent to the salt mines for letting that phrase get in the way like it did.

 

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