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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

What kind of murder mystery starts out with the full knowledge of the identity of the person who pulls the trigger? The obvious answer is that it has to involve magic of some sort.  This is one of the elements of this gripping tale of love, murder, family and magic by Chrysler Szarlan in the book The Hawley Book of the Dead.

The story begins with the glitz and glam setting of Las Vegas and a husband and wife magic show.  They are enjoying a level of success and fame that allows them to provide a stable life for their three daughters and themselves until fate steps in.  After a tragedy on stage, the remaining members of the family  are left to confront and live with what they learn of their ancestors and the legacy that has been handed them.  I am sure that it would be easy enough to find other stories that could loosely fit that description but, this is one that takes that skeleton and fleshes it out into an entertaining story.  Chrysler Szarlan uses setting and history to great effect and in a way which pulls the reader even further into the narrative.  Whether in the deserts of Nevada or a New England woods we are treated to scenes and scenery that helps build the energy and tension for this book.

We get to learn about the family mainly from the perspective of Revelation Dyer.  It is her thought, feelings and observations that bring this all to life to us for the most part.  The author did do something a bit unusual in shifting from Revelation's first point of view to a third person point of view centering on other characters.  The real surprise is how well it works.  To me, it came across as a clever way to give the intimate details that first person allows while still providing a glimpse into other parts of the story.

The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan is an interesting and entertaining book. It breaks a few a the rules and tells a story that will surely play the heart strings of its readers.  There is a bit of language and a small amount of suggestive dialog which earns this one a PG13 in my mind.



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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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