Grey Swan, Nov 2008, $16.95
Grey Swan Press.,Briar Lane, Marblehead, Ma.01945
In Lanier County, North Carolina, the driver of a vintage 1955 red Ford truck is going to fast when the vehicle collides with a car containing a mother and her ten years old daughter near the Easy Mart. Thirty-five years old Lanier Auto Body shop owner Carl Lee witnesses the horrific crash and rushes over to see if he can help the truck driver. The driver gives Carl an envelope and tells him to “hide them” just before he dies; the Easy Mart owner valium addict Stu notices the exchange and plans to confront Carl after he takes another pill. After the police arrive, Carl, not mentioning the envelope or the death request, tows the truck to his shop in nearby Kinston.
Inside the envelope is a gold key that the deceased had warned Carl to hide. When no once claims the truck, Carl restores it and gives it to his septuagenarian grandfather Thaddeus James as a birthday present. Thaddeus is exhilarated with his gift that he names Rita. Soon the two generations will learn why the dead man warned Carl as THE RIDE into the past begins with an attempt to save a long dead loved one Becky from the damned.
Tom Brander provides horror fans with a wild ride into a hellish past as Tad and Carl learn about the gold key, the truck, and nefarious evil essences starting with the seemingly invincible Gray Man. The story line is faster than the speed the truck was driven at just before the crash. Carl is a fascinating protagonist who is a caring rogue, but it is Tad with his obstinate need to enter hell for his heavenly cause that will bring readers along for THE RIDE.