by Chad Lutzke
You know within a few paragraphs of starting to read a new book whether you’re in for a treat or tedium. In Chad Lutzke’s case, I’m pleased to say, it’s the former. There’s no dialogue for many pages, just the internal conversation a young boy waking up in an abusive home with nothing but his dreams and a dog to keep him going.
I was immediately drawn to the character, Denny, the language Ludzke gives him fits perfectly a young adolescent who has an obsession with books and winning the school spelling bee. This authenticity is either a natural gift or something the author has worked hard to achieve; either way it is convincing and masterful.
As the story progresses, we start to see the significance of the book’s title and wonder whether the backdrop of horror will lead us along a more supernatural pathway. Without giving too much away, the tale progresses in the only way that it could. The strengths of Lutzke’s narration are manyfold. The dialogue with Denny’s small circle of friends and neighbours, is
entirely natural and unforced. In a style reminiscent of a King coming of age story, we are drawn into Denny’s world and understand the stretched and exaggerated motivations behind the decisions he makes. Decisions which lead to the climax of the story at the school spelling bee. By this stage I was reading at a feverish pace, eager to find out how things would end for our lead character.
Yet another mark of a gifted storyteller is that sense of not knowing how the story will end, that indeed it could go horribly wrong for the protagonist or, dare we hope for it, a happy ending?
Suffice it to say that I was left fulfilled. Lutzke does not disappoint and takes the reader through a gamut of emotions as we weave our way through this short novel.
I thoroughly recommend this book to all as it will appeal to both horror fans, and also to those who appreciate suspense and well-drawn characters. I’ll certainly be lapping up his other books.
Star rating: *****
By Chad’s book at:
Check out his website at: http://chadlutzke.weebly.com/write-brained-leftovers/cover-reveal-of-foster-homes-and-flies
Release date: Friday 22nd July 2016