Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DEADLIFT by Craig Saunders

This little DarkFuse novella starts out with the most attention-grabbing of premises. A man stands for 1 minute and 36 seconds braced in the door of an elevator shaft high up in a fancy hotel, holding up
an elevator car with his bare hands by its severed cable; an elevator holding his beloved wife inside. He's hired a hitman to kill her but now is having second thoughts. We're allowed to have those every now and then, no? But I don't want to say much more than that because it will spoil readers to what happens next.

It's a simple story but very original and I love the way it's told, in a matter of fact voice like a nature show narrator, and with great efficiency at only 70 pages. It's a story about love that can withstand all obstacles, including nerdy arsonists, gunshot wounds, explosions, masked murderers, and the British legal system. There's a horror element introduced in the novel that, while creepy, distracted a bit from the real heart of the story: the main character David Lowe, an endearing and sympathetic man that's impressively rendered for such a short tale. There's plenty of action and dark(fuse) happenings, but the book is surprisingly emotional and moving by the end.


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