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Posted May 28, 2013
Jim Van Loozen adds a touch of Stephen King to the genre of the
Jim Van Loozen adds a touch of Stephen King to the genre of the hard-boiled detective. His guy, Ransom Stone buys the proverbial farm at the very beginning of the A Ghost of a Chance and spends the rest of the book moving in and out of the lives of the police detectives who are investigating his death. The format, which I admit seemed a bit odd to me at the beginning, enables Van Loozen to look at the genre with some interesting irony at the same time he moves a plot briskly forward. His prose makes you remember how charmingly off-beat Philip Marlow was on the pages where he wasn't in the throes of mortal combat. I confess to having gone from wondering, "how is this going to work out" when I opened it to being pleasantly surprised six hours later by the short meditation on good, evil, and eternity that wraps it up. - Tm Hoyer, Jr.
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