Deftly handling components of an all-too-true-to-life racist psycho, the protagonist's warning and mind-destroying vision-dreams, and a convincing set of characters, the author holds one's attention with a sure style and fast-moving plot. I read its 271 pages straight through in one sitting.
In The Between, the reader is clued in almost immediately that Hilton James' brushes with finality as a child were in no way final and that we are dealing with alternatives to the present reality that he must somehow accept in order to save his family. His struggle to understand what is happening to him and to protect his family are compelling.
The book's characterization of even minor characters is believeable. For those who would like instruction in how to portray a strong non central female character, the author's DeeDee James is a fine example. The two children in the story are a bit too good to be true, but they still manage to be more realistic than most novelized kids.
The Between frightens us because we believe, from the very beginning, that this can and/or did happen. It is a notable debut by an author who is worth hearing from again.