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The Lurking Man

Keith Rommel

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Sunbury Press

Published : 2012

Copyright : Keith Rommel 2012

ISBN-10 : PB 1-62006-089-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-62006-089-6

Publisher's Write-Up

Than•a•tol•o•gy | noun

The scientific study of death and dying and the practices associated with it, including the study of the needs of the terminally ill and their families.

DERIVATIVES thanatological | adjective thanatologist|-jist| noun ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek thanatos 'death' + -logy.

Cailean stands beneath a spotlight in a blinding snowstorm. She has no idea where she is or how she got there, but she senses something moving around her in the darkness outside the light.
When the ominous presence calling himself Sariel makes himself known, he declares that he is Death Incarnate. Cailean has died, and now she will be forced to face the sins of her past in exchange for twenty-four hours of life to try to right her wrongs. And what she must do in return for this precious time is unthinkable.

The Cursed Man is book one in the Thanatology Series. The Lurking Man is the next book in this series.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (150912) Rating (8/10)
Review by Paul Lappen (150912) Rating (9/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
The Lurking Man is Keith Rommel's second novel in the Thanatology Series, the first being The Cursed Man. It is not a sequel as such as none of the characters or locales are the same, other than a very brief mention of Dr Anna Lee and Sunnyside Capable Care late in the book; rather it is a further story exploring the meaning of death*.

What takes place after we die? Some believe that there is an afterlife. If so what actually happens? Think about it. What do you see, who do you meet, as time unfolds what events occur? What happens first, what follows next then what follows that? Take a moment and contemplate. Scary isn't it? All your current drivers and everything you currently are have been removed. You don't need to go back to work as you don't have bills anymore. But what do you have? What replaces your life and its needs and wants?

Cailean finds herself in this very situation, waking in a strange place with no knowledge of how she got there and a feeling she is being watched by a strange unseen presence. What unfolds is a story told in flashback, interspersed with reflection, as piece by piece her life and the things she has done are revealed. As Cailean comes to terms with the person she was and the suffering she has caused we have reason to suspect ulterior motives may be at work. While this is indeed the case the overall story is really more about Cailean's relationships with the people around her and her own selfish self delusion. While her actions have dire consequences for those around her it's not really her fault… is it?

Once again Keith Rommel has written an excellent story with the characters, especially Cailean, jumping off the page. While The Cursed Man was more of a horror/thriller in the vein of Stephen King The Lurking Man is a deeper examination of who we are, how selfish we can become and how easily we delude ourselves, even if something else may be at work.

The Lurking Man once again showcases a unique talent in author Keith Rommel and is well worth a read. Recommended.

* Thanatology is the scientific study of death. It investigates the mechanisms and forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period, as well as wider social aspects related to death; see
Nigel (15th September 2012)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
This novel is about a woman who is forced to take a hard look at her life, and the choices that she made to get her to this point.

Cailean will never be nominated for Mother of the Year. She has taken to alcohol to ease the memory of a terrible thing that happened to her when she was a child (it's not what you think). She doesn't drink simply to get drunk; she drinks to pass out. She and Wilson, her husband, are separated. Her record for visiting her son, Beau, who simply wants his mother to love him, is not good. One day, Cailean shows up at Wilson's door, sober, and convinces him to let her take beau to her condo for just a few hours. The intention for Cailean is to show Beau and Wilson that she really can change. Things do not end well.

Existing somewhere between life and death, Cailean finds herself trapped in a cone of bright light in a snowstorm. She is being held there by a humanoid being named Sariel, who forces her to take a hard look at her life. She finds out just what it was that turned her into such a mean and rotten person, filled with self-hatred (again, it's not what you think). Cailean also sees what has happened to the "good" part of her. At the end, does Cailean have an Ebenezer Scrooge-like epiphany, and work to regain the confidence of Beau and Wilson? Does she even survive the encounter with Sariel?

This book will certainly get the reader to look inside themselves, to see if they have any Cailean-like behaviour. It is recommended for everyone, especially those in the grip of alcoholism. Do you and Cailean share a similar reason for your actions?
Paul Lappen (15th September 2012)

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