“Line of Descent” JAMES DERRY

This is a truly excellent work, in my opinion to be ranked with the best in modern fiction. Given the plethora of e-books – fresh titles appearing in their thousands every day – searching for real quality among them can sometimes seem like a hopeless task; so here at least is a sound piece of advice: read ‘Line of Descent’ by James Derry. It is a truly excellent work, in my opinion to be ranked with the best in modern fiction.

The author has summarised the plotline in the book description above, so there is no need for me to do that. Suffice it to say that I found the story fascinating and tightly constructed, the characterisation strong and compelling, and the writing fluent, intelligent and poetic. I have read and reviewed more than 50 books in the last 15 months, and this one is up there with the very best of them.

Let me give you just a flavour. “The moon hung over the ocean like a faint, half-lidded eye.”  “His tongue was its own frightened animal shuddering before the tunnel of his throat.” “Each day killed the one before it; her life had become one long tedious chain of usurpers and midnight assassins.” “The Gardeners’ summer house was obscenely gigantic, like four normal-sized mansions entwined in an orgy. The chartreuse yard was prickled with black-clad guests.”  If you like stories which luxuriate in the language of their telling, then this has to be a book for you.

Notions of multiple personalities within one body, and the perpetuation of power and privilege within families at whatever cost are given a fresh sharp edge in this extraordinarily accomplished piece of paranormal fiction. My recommendation of it is without reservation.