Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 402 - The Shimmer

The Shimmer
David Morrell

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: July 2009

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Pages: 352

My Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Synopsis [from]:

When a high-speed chase goes terribly wrong, Santa Fe police officer Dan Page watches in horror as a car and gas tanker explode into flames. Torn with guilt that he may be responsible, Page returns home to discover that his wife, Tori, has disappeared.

Frantic, Page follows her trail to Rostov, a remote town in Texas famous for a massive astronomical observatory, a long-abandoned military base, and unexplained nighttime phenomena that drew onlookers from every corner of the globe. Many of these gawkers - Tori among them - are compelled to visit this tiny community to witness the mysterious Rostov Lights.
Without warning, a gunman begins firing on the lights, screaming 'Go back to hell where you came from,' the turns his rifle on the bystanders. A bloodbath ensues, and events quickly spiral out of control, setting the stage for even greater violence and death.

Page must solve the mystery of the Rostov Lights to save his wife. In the process, he learns that the decaying military base may not be abandoned at all, and that the government may have known about the lights for decades. Could these phenomena be more dangerous than anyone could have possibly imagined?


This is my first novel by David Morrell and I have to say I didn't really know what to expect going into THE SHIMMER. I knew the synopsis intrigued me and I was basically just hoping for a good read...which is exactly what I found! The fast-paced story is filled with mystery, action, and suspense and I had a good time reading it.

The book opens up to police officer Dan Page flying his Cessna like he does on most of his days off. But he ends up becoming part of a police chase as he watches over the perpetrator from the sky. The car chase goes horribly wrong and Page goes back home to his wife upset and filled with guilt. However, he finds that his wife, Tori, isn't home. She's left him without any explanation as to why.

The plot could definitely be apart of the "X-Files" because of the Rostov Lights which are mysterious and eerie balls of light that only seem to appear for a select few. The lights draw people from all over the country to the small town of Rostov, Texas and it seems they can have more than just a soothing and euphoric presence. After Page finally tracks down his wife near the lights, a man starts shooting at the lights and ends up killing a lot of people all the while screaming frantically about the lights and the onlookers being evil.

The author has many different story arcs going on that didn't really become too complicated or confusing for me to get through. It seems the public isn't the only ones interested in the Rostov Lights because the military has it's own agenda. There's also a reporter that is hell-bent on riding his story all the way to a major network airing. And you still have Page's struggle to save his wife and ultimately his marriage. David Morrell does a really good job weaving the different arcs together with fast-paced action into a very climactic ending that doesn't really disappoint.

Overall, I enjoyed THE SHIMMER. I can definitely imagine it being made into a movie that many would like. And even though the Rostov Lights were still as mysterious at the end of the novel, I think it was a smart choice of Morrell to keep the mystery going...


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