"Itching for freedom, Linus leaves home and moves into a trailer park with some of his friends. There they are free to live as carefree wastrels. But it is not what Linus expects. His best friend Rex abruptly vanishes, his roommate John begins to surround himself with criminals and his job at the local gas station becomes increasingly unstable. At the same time Linus is haunted by his neighbor Clyde, an elderly security guard who seems to appear at any place and anytime, often spending all evening at the window watching them and peering into their lives."
This book was not what I expected. Unfortunately, that was a bad thing in this case. The title suggested a paranormal tale. Dictionary.com defines the word, "wraith" as " an apparition of a living person supposed to portend his death" or "a visible spirit". I love the title and the cover art. It was just a bit old fashioned and gave it a spooky feel right from the start.
I really wanted to like this book. I put it on the top of my "to read" pile because it was mailed to me directly by the author. Normally, books are mailed out by the publisher. I really respect the efforts that authors make over and above what the publisher is doing to promote their book. After writing my review and reading the reviews from others, it appears you either love this book or you don't. I didn't.
The first two thirds of the book involve a detailed description of the life and times of Linus. He spends most of his time drunk, stoned or both. The rest of the time he is planning to get drunk or stoned. A lot of time is given to sarcastic, immature conversations with his friends. The 'wraith", Clyde, makes an occasional appearance in this part of the book, but he appears to be a lonely little man who entertains himself by spying on Linus and his friends as they proceed to get stoned.
In the last third of the book Clyde pops up in various locations during Linus's daily routine. Clyde does nothing overtly scary or otherworldly. This set Linus off on a paranoid, sleep deprived mission to follow Clyde. He does this for days. Again, this journey is described in minute detail. The book ends suddenly with many issues left unresolved. It appears as if the author got bored with his own story and decided to end it. There just isn't much of a story here.
I think, with some work, that this could be an interesting story. The writing is good. It is easy to read and very descriptive. It has a nice flow to it. It needs a lot of cutting and a better ending. Tie up those loose ends! Such as what happened to Rex, who has the money and why did Linus move from the trailer into a basement apartment? What is the purpose of the job at the shoe store? Make this more clear to your reader, instead of appearing as random, unnecessary details. Give the characters some more dimension, instead of just appearing to be stoned teenagers looking for the next party.
I'd skip this book for now, but I would definitely read a second effort by this author. With a pen name like Goodloe Byron, how could you not give him a second chance?
Thanks to Goodloe and GoodReads for the opportunity to read and review this book.