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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Lane’s End: A Journey Into the Paranormal is an urban fantasy novel written by Paul Hill. Odessa Kearney was a “Lady Trucker”, and she was proud of it. She had wanted more from life than an uninspiring relationship; the ubiquitous big rig advertisement on the matchbook cover had settled itself firmly into her imagination. It took very little for her to make it become a reality. As she drove the I-40 east into New Mexico, she noted that her son’s twenty-seventh birthday was coming up. He lived in California now after leaving Phoenix for San Francisco eight years ago. She missed those few years when she was able to be his full-time mom, but that was all past. For her, nirvana was the open road, traveling the country, seeing the sights and warring, sometimes, with her tendency to zone out on the road. She had long learned not to indulge in a bit of road rage, no matter what craziness transpired on the road, but the crazy in the old Grand Prix that came zooming up behind her and nearly clipped her rig when passing merited a long lean on her horn. The passenger brandished a stubby middle finger in salute as they roared away.
She sighed sometime later when a profusion of red brake lights signaled traffic ahead, There were the inevitable police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance gathered around the impacted vehicle, but no flurry of effort surrounded the driver’s sheet-covered form. With a shock, she recognized that old Grand Prix and pulled over to give FBI Special Agent Sam Buscella a witness statement. Sam was there because the incident was definitely a homicide, and he suspected a serial killer, possibly a trucker riding the roads, was at work. When Odessa got back into her rig, she wasn’t alone. A gaunt and disheveled man in a filthy coverall had a gun trained on her, his near-perfect diction and manners a startling contrast to his appearance. As she started her rig, she wondered if perhaps a fortunate accident would occur; however, nothing unforeseen or otherwise halted their progress.
Paul Hill’s paranormal urban fantasy, Lane’s End: A Journey Into the Paranormal, is a taut, suspenseful and compelling descent into terror as Odessa comes to terms with her abduction and uncertain survival at the hands of the strangely urbane Zacharias. Odessa Kearney grabbed my attention in the opening paragraphs. I so admired this gutsy and resilient woman who had actually fulfilled the owner-operator fantasy so many harbor within their imaginations. Following as she adroitly manages her rig, plans the rest area stops to comply with DOT regulations and embodies that fantasy of the trucker’s life so many dream about was a joy indeed. Her story, which gets dark so quickly with the arrival of Zacharias, continues, somehow, to be the stuff of dreams as they leave her scheduled pick-up in Albuquerque and head towards the Four Corners and into Utah. The canoe scene is unutterably lovely as the two navigate the Green River in a stolen canoe through the Canyonlands. One can’t help but wonder at the possibility of Stockholm Syndrome as the two discuss her family and “the sparkling refractions of sunlight playing off the small waves breaking against the bow” lull Odessa into slumber. I especially enjoyed the serial killer investigation conducted by Agent Sam Buscella and hope that the author considers giving Buscella additional investigations in future novels.
Lane’s End is powerful and profound, and it’s a most impressive debut novel – this is highly recommended.
“. . . just finished–absolutely incredible! I loved it. I think if you got it to the right publisher, it could be a best seller . . .” -Harry A., Trinidad, Colorado
“. . . it was really interesting. i told jon that the beginning (before the first paranormal event) peeked my interest. then, for a few chapters, i was confused about what was going on…then it all started to come together and it was hard to put down. i really enjoyed it! congrats to you and all the research you did for it. of course, i found the pharma connection particularly interesting and close to home!”
-Jean D., Gurnee, Ill.
“The last sentence you spoke got to me. I look forward to the read.” -Pamela V., California, USA
“Well done Paul!” -Beverley Y., Ottawa, Canada
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