Published by Del Rey on April 10th 2018
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“I’m a thing old enough to know that old was once young and that because young becomes old there is not love of life, only a fear of decay.”
Unbury Carol is sort of a mash up between a spaghetti western, the Brother’s Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and do I dare say it, a Quentin Tarantino movie? I could seriously see Tarantino doing a movie with this book. Some of the characters are almost cartoonish such as Smoke – and I do mean that in a good way. He is a nasty piece of work.
I am not a fan of westerns, True Grit and a couple of others are the exception to this. I’ll be honest. I requested this book because I LOVED Bird Box. I was hoping that this book would be in the same vain – it’s not. It’s unique and as I stated it feels like a mash up of the various interests of the Author. Having said that, this book started slow for me then my interest grew and I was intrigued.
Carol Evers has a secret that very few know – she slips into coma’s. She appears to be dead but has a slight very hard to feel pulse. While in her comas she literally falls into a place she has named Howltown. After the funeral of her close friend, she slips into one of her comas, and her devious husband, Dwight decides to make his move. He has married Carol for her money and now that she appears to be dead, he decides to Cash in. He plans to bury her alive and feels no one in town will be the wiser. But being devious makes a man paranoid, so he hires another man, by the name of Smoke to kill the only other person who knows about Carol’s condition – her former boyfriend, the famous outlaw, James Moxie. Moxie is famous for killing a man in a duel without even pulling the trigger. No one knows how he pulled this off and for this reason he is feared.
“Can a man set right his past?”
Dwight has a right to be afraid because James Moxie has received word of Carol’s “death” and he has sent a telegram stating that she is “not dead”. James takes to the infamous and dangerous “Trail” in hopes of arriving in time to save Carol. He has tremendous quilt over leaving her upon learning her secret and wants to set things right. Along the way, James encounters those who idolized him and want to help such as Rinaldo and Moxie’s former partner, Jefferson.
“A hero is always recognizable to those who adore him.”
Along the way, the reader learns about Moxie’s past and his feat of “magic” during a dual. Moxie is also haunted by Rot who does not want Moxie to arrive to save Carol. Rot, I akin to a demon or a devil. Moxie is in a ways also wrestling his own demons as he makes his way along the trail in hopes of rescuing Carol.
“I am present when things fall apart.”
Then there is Smoke, hired by Dwight to catch James Moxie on the trial and prevent him from saving Carol’s life. Smoke has his nickname for the obvious reason that he likes to burn things, he is also crippled and walks on fakes legs. Legs he uses to hide the oil he needs to start his fires. He is a scary man and is feared by all who he encounters. Smoke is scary and dangerous. He enjoys what he does and has no problem taking life. He gets off on watching things burn.
“Hell, I let you live. You wanna live, doncha?”
I’ll be honest, when I started this I thought “WTF am I reading?” I also felt like Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s novel Misery.. I wanted to say “What is this Cock-a-doodie book about, Mr. Man?” But I kept with it, because I loved Bird Box, and this book grew on me. Honestly, at first I didn’t know if I liked this book or not. It is one that I thought about a lot as I read and after…but that is what I kinda love…when a book has me scratching my head trying to figure out if I like it or not. One that stays with you and you are not sure why. This is one of those books. It’s very clever and as I mentioned Quentin Tarantino earlier, this book felt very much like a Tarantino movie to me, not in way in the story or plot but in the feel of it.
I will say that I wanted more excitement at the end. More of a BOOM, if you will. Things got tidied up pretty fast and I would have liked a little more action. But there were a couple of surprises as the end. One that I did not see coming. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was great storytelling. This book is very clever, strange, entertaining, and fun.
I received a copy of this book from Random House publishing – Ballantine and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to them.