Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: A DRY SPELL by Susie Moloney

Goodlands, North Dakota isn't experiencing the Good times it once had, not for the past four years of unprecedented drought. Crops are failing and the bank is calling in loans. Folks are losing their farms and the town of Goodlands, itself, is dying. A sense of doom permeates every cranny of every existence. To make matters worse, strange things are happening, unexplained fires singe the parched land, mysterious crimes have risen, a sense of doom has fallen over all. Only rain can fix Goodlands.

Into this maelstrom, walks Tom Keatly, a Rainmaker, a man of myth and hope. In his quiet way he touches the lives of the community, especially Karen Grange, the bank manager who loves Goodlands, but must foreclose on her neighbors.

To say A DRY SPELL is a powerful love story would reduce it to one level of the art of living. It is so much more with a multitude of characters that bring their troubles and fears to the reader in such a poignant way that one can't help but wish the best for them Even as rain falls on the ravaged land, other elements are at work, powerful elements of the paranormal that deal with murder and vengeance. Karen Grange is a strong, fearless heroine who, despite her own fears, dares to take steps that could end the careful life she's carved for herself.

Ms. Moloney's work has been likened to Stephen King and I agree, but I found it a little more unsettling, because her plot is so deeply seated in reality. She builds her characters with the same conscientious detail of King or Dean Kootz. For something a little out of the norm, I'd definitely recommend A DRY SPELL.

Reviewed by Peggy Hanchar

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