Sunday, September 24, 2017

Book Review: 'The Blue Curtain' by L. G. Metcalf

Canadian author L.G. Metcalf was born in London, Ontario Canada. His father, George, was a history professor and his mother, Johanna, was a retired English teacher and stay-at-home mother. Metcalf grew up surrounded by books. At age seventeen he began compiling notes for longer stories he wanted to write and over the years he amassed a great many notes, many of which were scribbled on odd scraps of paper. He is also the lead singer of the rock band Sound And Fury and conceived the idea of THE BLUE CURTAIN while sitting in the back of his touring van leaving a gig they had just played in Manchester England.

Metcalf’s debut novel is an impressive one, an epic story that spans time between 16th century England and present day Maine. The two time frames at first appear unrelated but as the story progresses they meld into one fascinating tone poem. The Preface suggests the direction of the complete concept without giving away the story – ‘As he advanced upon her, Emily could see the tortured love turned to crazed obsession in his eyes. He drew out a blade, long, cold and cruel, and held it up to her throat. She gasped gripped with fear. It felt as though every drop of blood had been drained form her body. Tom’s face underwent a change. He gave her an almost pleasant, casual smile and wink, but his eyes were still horrifyingly inhuman and demonic. Never in a million years would Emily have imagined that her death would come like this. Only a short time ago she could not possibly have envisioned in her craziest dreams that the path of her life would bring her to the point of this knife. Yet here she was. Tom played with the knife gently tracing patterns on the soft flesh of Emily’s throat. She thought of her mother and her father. Her heart sank at the thought of failing her father, failing to see his murderers put behind bars. She took solace though in knowing that she had done her best. She thought of her love and her heart exploded with anguish. Had he been destroyed? Emily held her breath, certain that she was looking into the eyes of death.’

Metcalf’s synopsis seduces the reader further – ‘Devastated by her father’s brutal murder, seventeen-year-old Emily Bliss is determined to find his killers, even after everyone else has given up. As Emily attempts to follow their trail, she encounters a mysterious stranger at a party. Beneath his handsome looks, physical prowess, vast wealth, intimidating presence and hypnotizing eyes, she can sense that he is tormented by demons that she cannot yet fathom. Soon Emily is shocked yet thrilled to realize that she is falling uncontrollably in love with him to the point of obsession and that she is willing say or do anything to make him stay. But an early birthday gift Emily’s father left for her has revealed secrets about her life, buried centuries ago, that will hurl her into a dark underworld that she never dreamed existed and point to a great destiny awaiting her, if only she can survive long enough to seize it...’

Very impressive suspense filled tale of love and destiny by a writer with a solid future. Grady Harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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