A Time of Torment|
A novel by Author
Book review by Jules Brenner
Publisher, released date, pages pp., $price
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Rarely does a title reflect the content of a book quite so fully as this
one. And rarely does a person who has been as tormented as Jerome Burnel try
so hard, upon release from prison, to reach for, and pay for, ultimate
justice. To do that, Burnel appears at the door of Connolly's private
investigator Charlie Parker to whom he relates a story that will prove just
how unjust his sentence was.
We're not just talking here of the five years but, rather, of the depraved
punishments he was subjected to during that time. The word "horrific" does it
little justice. And the nightmare for Mr. Burnel is hardly over.
Just when Parker decides to take the case, believing his client's story too
strange to be made up -- even by a con -- the man disappears, breaking
parole. This brings the detective to Plassey County in West Virginia where he
meets the sheriff and learns of the men of a long isolated community known as
the "Cut," a fearful area that people avoid because of the criminality of its
inhabitants. These people are described as a vile lot of criminal degenerates
inbred for generations and in service to an entity called the Dead King.
These are people no decent person in the county will intentionally meet or
This is a story of horror, terror and evil and one might wonder why these
elements pervade a crime novel. Despite Connolly's migration to such themes
for the genre which hint at the occult, he loads his work with dashes of
natural dialogue and good humor which gives his hero considerable humanity.
That it's masterfully written becomes evident in a few pages, and is the
chief reward to read, even relish, every word.
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