Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review: Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

I have a book that an author signed for me! Kirk Curnutt signed his book to me, Michele and even wrote me a little note! Isn't that cool? I feel like I've won some award! LOL (Yes, I am a dork!) I read Mr. Curnutt's book, Breathing Out the Ghost, as part of his TLC Book Tour. I enjoyed it!

Summary from his website: Colin St. Claire is on a dangerous mission. His young son is missing, and he is on a self-appointed quest to find the boy, or at least find the man he believes is responsible. Fueled by uppers and a profound lack of sleep, Colin’s road soon becomes an uncontrollable spiral of blurry white lines, of fleeting forms in the night, ghosts of memory as intangible as vapor . . . Assisting him is Robert Heim, a former private investigator who lost his license in the line of duty—and it is a sense of warped duty that still ties him to Colin, though his own family, a loving wife and children, beckons him back home . . . The answers for both men may lie not with the man they believe is the perpetrator, but with a long-suffering farmer’s wife, Beverly “Sis” Pruitt, whose own daughter was claimed by violence, years prior.

In the shape of a noir thriller, Curnutt fashions a gripping tale of the consequences of unchecked grief, of painful truths hidden as though they were dark secrets, and what salvation remains possible for good men who enter the darkness and become the ghosts they are chasing.

I had to read it in spurts - partly because of my crazy life at the moment, but also because it felt like a book that I could only take a little bit at a time. I've thought about that since and not really sure what it was about the writing that made me read it that way, but I am not really sure. There were parts that were hard to read - one of the fellows that we hear his POV was a little crazy, so he tended to rant and ramble.

I thought the book was going to be a mystery - what happened to the little boy and why - but it really wasn't. It was more a look at how different people handle life's stresses, specifically child tragedies. The book was not really about 'figuring it out' but more about the people dealing with things never being figured out. To me, the ending left some things unresolved and as a mystery fan, I didn't like that.

It was set just about 30 minutes from me, in Shelbyville, Indiana. That was really cool. I recognized road names and such - another fun part of the book for me.

Overall, I liked the book, but obviously not the content. I clearly did not want to think about a missing child, especially as it would get me thinking about what I would do if one of my kids went missing or something worse.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


ANovelMenagerie said...

It's definitely not "light" reading. I guess the mystery is solving what the inner mess is with the three of them and how they are connected. I actually loved the book and my review is posting on the 21st. But, it's not an easy read. It demands full attention and it's a heavy read.

Alyce said...

I don't usually like stories where bad things happen to children either.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read of the content of this book, I think reading it in spurts was probably a necessity.

Serena said...

This is not a light read. I'm sorry to hear that you had to put it down and read in spurts.

I loved this book, though loved seems inappropriate given the subject matter. I was also disappointed that the boy's disappearance is not resolved.

LisaMM said...

Hi Michele, thanks for participating in Kirk's tour.