The sounds of a Civil War battle rages outside his home. He’s writing pages in his daughter’s notebook—a journal dated back to the 1800s. His mind is not his own after the fall on the job. His marriage is fractured. His daughter has an invisible friend named, Jacob, who wants him to know that Jesus loves him. Meanwhile, darkness begins to creep into his life, engulfing it, and he wonders if he is going insane.
Sam let the notebook fall from his hands onto his lap. He was going nuts, that’s what it meant. He was sure of it. What kind of a person wrote this stuff and didn’t remember it? Was he scribbling it in his sleep? He wasn’t even a Civil War buff. He didn’t even know some of the terminology he’d written with his own hand, with his own pen. Wiping a palm across his forehead, he noticed he’d broken out in a cold sweat. – Pg. 41
Meanwhile, a man named Symon is killing civilians. Like the stuff you see on Criminal Minds, he asks, “What is my name?” He can’t remember much of the past and he is sent on a mission to kidnap Sam’s daughter.
He thought it odd that he felt no emotion about his mission. Nor about what he’d just done to the Moellers here. He was sure they were nice people, probably parents and grandparents, model neighbors and exemplary citizens. He doubted they ever paid their taxes late and could not imagine either Edward or Glady’s mouthing off to a cop. There was no sadness over their loss. No regret or even joy. Nothing. It was as if his emotional palette had been wiped clean, with nothing there to draw from. – Pg. 66
The book had a nice flow to it. The story was well written with a nice surprise in the end (of which I won’t tell). However, the point of view of Ned, the state trooper, led you to believe that he would have some sort of stake in the story. It didn’t make much sense to me to kill him off. As a writer, I would have eliminated his point of view. However, that was the only negative in the story. Some parts are difficult to read because of their graphic nature. I had to look away when, in a memory, Sam recalls that his brother Tommy began mutilating animals. It is necessary to the plot to show Tommy’s deviate nature. Still, I winced and at times glanced away unable to get that picture out of my mind. That testifies to the quality of the writing. He also has an interesting introduction.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have reposted this review in honor of becoming part of Mike’s The Darlington Society.