The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Breathing Out the Ghost: Kirk Curnutt

I recently had the pleasure of reading Kirk Curnutt's new novel- Breathing Out the Ghost. Even as I was flipping open the first pages, I was a little reluctant. I read true crime, and had to wonder just how this was going to compare. Since the revolving plot in the story is based on every parents worse nightmare, a murdered child who was likely sexually abused by a serial molester, I had some doubts that the characters could pull off conveying the emotional roller coaster such an experience would bring.

The book brings three people together in a web tangled with pain, suffering and heartbreak. A mother, Sis Pruitt, still reliving the loss of her teenage daughter years earlier, a father,Colin St. Claire, burning every bridge in order to embark on mission to discover what happened to his son, and an private investigator,Robert Heim, burdened by the belief that he has a responsibility to help on this cross country journey.

By the middle of the book, it was apparent that Curnutt had not only created believable characters, he'd infused such intense personalities in them that they became real people, suffering real pain. Not only did the main characters give the story a true to life feel, but the background characters could easily remind you of this person or that person.

Despite the hard subject of the book, Curnutt has done a wonderful job bringing the story to life, without the over reactive nature some works of fiction. The novel takes you through the characters on every emotional level- anger, love, guilt, fear, denial- with a very real feel to it.

For those that like the passion and "realness" of true crime books, this book will have you hooked. And for those that want to close the book at the end of the night and sign with relief that it was all make believe- this might be as close to the feeling of true crime as you can get.

Thanks to and Kirk Curnutt.