Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sleight of Hand...

Publisher's note: Is it possible to con your way out of hell? Fifty-two year old Daniel Cabrero thinks so and why wouldn’t he? That’s how he spent his entire life. But Jonah his spirit guide has reasons of his own for making sure Daniel pays for all the suffering and misery he’s caused others. Still sometimes people can change, even in hell. And maybe Daniel can keep his son from following the same path.

My Review: Sleight of Hand by Deanne Blackhurst is a story about a middle-aged man named Danny, who has led a very baneful existence. He is a con man and a thief. The story begins in the middle of a con gone wrong. Danny unexpectedly suffers a heart attack and dies. He is then transported to a place called "Wasteland" where he meets his spirit guide, Jonah. At first, Danny is impressed with "Wasteland". He is given everything he could have hoped for; his dream cabin nestled in the majestic forest, all the food and beer he can consume, and a comfortable spot to rest overlooking a beautiful lake. He is smug and very self-assured until he realizes that the food does not fill, the beer does not satisfy, and he is completely alone (except for Jonah). He soon learns that in order to leave "wasteland" he is required to pay for all of his sins and misdeeds. He is forced to feel the pain of those he hurt and swindled. Guilt, sadness, despair, and physical pain are emotions Danny never expected. As the story unfolds we learn more about Danny and his wrongdoings. We follow his journey of remorse and his spirit-battle to atone for his sins.

When I first began this story, I was immediately hooked. The story-line and concept of Danny's journey through "Wasteland" was intriguing and unique. It kept me turning the pages long into the night. Danny's story wasn't a happy story, but it was a story that made you think and reflect on your own life and misdeeds. I liked Blackhurst's approach and although the story countered my belief in the afterlife, I thought it was a fun book. Blackhurst's ability to vividly describe the landscape and accurately depict the particular mood of a scene was impressive.Some mild language was tossed in throughout the story, but overall, I found Sleight of Hand a very interesting read. This book is available through Smashwords.

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