Monday, November 18, 2013

The Heavens Rise - Christopher Rice

My review of Christopher Rice's novel The Heaven's Rise first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. It's appearing here now with their permission.
First line: "I'm not sure how long it was down there."

Niquette Delongpre, her mother and her father go missing under mysterious circumstances one night. Authorities discover the remains of a car accident, but the human remains are nowhere to found. Soon after Marshall Ferriot violently throws himself out a window and winds up in a coma.

No one makes a connection between the events because no one knows about Niquette and Marshall’s secret rendezvous that resulted in their exposure to a strange parasite released from the swamps outside New Orleans. But when Marshall regains consciousness, he sets off on a revenge mission and much more than the teens’ brief fling is about to be exposed.

In a slight departure from his previous crime novels, Christopher Rice delves into the paranormal world in his new thriller. While realists may struggle with some of the supernatural elements of the novel, the depth of character, chilling atmosphere and moral dilemma are all marks of a superb story.

Niquette’s best friend Ben Broyard and her boyfriend Anthem Landry, left behind with her disappearance, forge a bond through their shared grief. Rice’s depiction of this friendship is gripping. The teens grow into men with a deep and compassionate understanding and acceptance of each other. The authenticity of this relationship forges a bond with the reader, investing in their story, maybe even more so than Niquette’s.

A native of New Orleans, Rice envelopes the reader in a Louisiana that may seem familiar but is a bit more terrifying. Just in time for Halloween, Christopher Rice’s The Heavens Rise is the perfect mix of spooky and memorable.

The Heavens Rise is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9781476716084) from Gallery Books. 


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