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The Shimmer

A book by David Morrell

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Secrets and Obsessions

  • Sep 23, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Dan Page is having a bad day. Flying the small airplane he inherited from his father usually provides him with an escape from the pressures of being a Santa Fe policeman, but today Page finds himself involved in one of those high speed chases the news people so much love to follow while pretending they are not hoping for a chase-ending crash of some sort. This one does end in a crash and, despite having done everything correctly, Page cannot help but feel a bit guilty about his role in the chase as he heads home to his wife.

The problem is that his wife, Tori, is nowhere to be found, and she has left behind only a short note telling Page that she has gone to see her mother. Page's confusion becomes genuine concern when a phone call to his mother-in-law reveals that Tori has chosen to drive the 800 miles to San Antonio rather than fly there. After she fails to arrive in San Antonio as scheduled, Page, who has alerted authorities to be on the lookout for Tori's car, is more confused than ever to learn that his wife has stopped in the little West Texas town of Rostov.

Rostov, Texas, is no ordinary small town. The mysterious lights that have appeared just outside town most nights for more than 100 years have turned Rostov into a tourist attraction, and Tori Page is just one of many who have become mesmerized by their existence. Tori is so taken with the lights, in fact, that she finds it hard to wait for darkness and is oblivious to everything around her when her husband finds her in the viewing area provided for those in town to see the lights. What happens later that night is just the beginning of a nightmare that Dan and Tori Page will be lucky to survive.

Fans of David Morrell's thrillers are not likely to be disappointed by "The Shimmer," a novel involving elements of the supernatural, government plots to produce new super-weapons, religious fanatics, mass murder, miracles, and a handful of dedicated lawmen who never give up despite the overwhelming odds stacked against them.

"The Shimmer" is an action-packed thriller but it only works as well as it does because Morrell has peopled his plot with characters about whom the reader will care. It all begins with Tori and Dan Page, two ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances that make them realize how much they still love one another. Working with the Pages to solve the mystery of the lights, and to contain the nightly violence the lights cause, are some of Rostov's finest citizens, including the local police chief, a deputy, and an antique dealer who knows as much about the lights and their history as anyone alive. Morrell's use of flashbacks to the experiences previous generations had with the Rostov lights gives the book a realistic feel that makes its fantastic plot all the more thrilling.

This one will be a page-turner for thriller and sci-fi fans, alike.

Rated at: 3.5

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More The Shimmer reviews
review by . October 20, 2010
I'll take a cue from Morrell's style and get right down to it: The Shimmer is one of the best thrillers I've read recently.      The story is a complicated one, spanning generations and peopled with many characters. Despite this, Morrell handles it all with what looks like natural ease, transitioning from the present-day to the past and back again, from one character to the next, moving the ball forward at a steady pace. As the story begins, we get to know a policeman …
review by . June 21, 2009
I have read some of David's Morrell's previous books and I have to say that The Shimmer is quite different from what he has written previously.    In The Shimmer, we meet our main character Dan Page - as the storyline opens, he is in a high-speed car chase that goes very wrong and he ends up witnessing the car he was chasing colliding with a gas tanker - which, in turn, explodes killing the people involved. Fraught with guilt Page goes home, only to discover that his wife is …
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Sam Sattler ()
Ranked #254
Oil company professional of almost 40 years experience who has worked in oil-producing countries around the world. I love books, baseball and bluegrass music and hope to dedicate myself to those hobbies … more
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Wiki

The unexplained real-life phenomenon of the Marfa, Tex., lights in the sky provides the inspiration for this patchwork thriller from bestseller Morrell (First Blood), who plays with possible theories to account for the mysterious lights—the shimmer of the title—as well as the various reactions people have had to them since as far back as WWI. When Tori Page, wife of Santa Fe cop Dan Page, unexpectedly turns up in the small west Texas town of Rostov, the book's stand-in for Marfa, Dan flies to Rostov, where he winds up trying to understand the lights' powerful effects. Some can't see the lights, some feel they can produce miracles and some viewers turn homicidal. Still others hope to harness the power of the lights for military uses. A massacre, secret government installations and experiments and Page's investigative efforts fail to coalesce into the kind of riveting suspense that has been Morrell's hallmark.10-city author tour. (July)
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Details

ISBN-10: 1593155379
ISBN-13: 978-1593155377
Author: David Morrell
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Vanguard Press
First to Review

"Creepy and thrilling"
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