Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Risen by Ron Rash

Author: Ron Rash
Publisher: Ecco
Date of publication: September 2016

While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.

Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.

When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

I had high hopes for The Risen.  The synopsis made it seem like this would be a good thriller.   Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.  It's about two brothers who meet a girl in late 1969.  She is a pretty bad influence on them and in the end tears them apart.  Years later, one is a successful doctor and the other is a divorced, alcoholic  and failed writer.   A discovery is made nearby their hometown that brings that summer back to the surface.

It wasn't a bad read, it just wasn't very good.  I pretty much figured out everything by the end as there was enough foreshadowing. So, the "twist" didn't surprise me.  None of the characters were very likable.  They were all cliches and very over the top.   One of the things that I couldn't let go was that both brothers sleep with Ligeria; as in every weekend on the same day.  Gross.  That detail really turned me off of the story.  I've never read anything else by this author.  I might take a look at his other works, but I really can't recommend this one.

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