The Shimmer

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Overview

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 draw onlookers from every corner of the ...

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Overview

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 draw 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,” then 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?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The Rostov Lights in Texas have been around for hundreds of years. People are drawn to the site to look—some see them, others don't—but all are affected in some way. New Mexican police officer Dan Page follows his wife, Tori, to the site, determined to discover the cause of her fascination with the lights. Multiple points of view, minute-by-minute current events, and historical flashbacks detailing previous encounters with the lights converge, as Page finds himself at the center of a disaster. Some observers become unaccountably violent, and there is a mass shooting at a tourist observation platform. What exactly are the Rostov Lights, and where do they come from? VERDICT Morrell (Scavenger), known as the father of the modern action novel, fleshes out his usual action-packed style with a surprisingly delicate love story in this tale inspired in part by the true-life phenomenon of the Marfa Lights in Texas. His fast-moving plot recalls conspiracy theories à la Roswell and The X-Files and will appeal to both fans of that paranormal show and to Morrell's readers.—Charli Osborne, Oxford P.L, MI


—Charli Osborne
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593155377
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 7/7/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Morrell is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight books, including his award-winning Creepers. Co-founder of the International Thrillers Writers Organization, he is considered by many to be the father of the modern action novel. To learn more, go to www.davidmorrell.net.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Highly original

    Santa Fe police officer Dan Page is on a high speed car chase when the other vehicle an SUV crashes into a tanker; the ensuing explosion emits a fiery blast into the sky. Stunned, he returns home only to find his wife Tori gone. Already filled with remorse and questioning what he could have done different, Dan also fears for his spouse, but pulls himself together and follows her trail.--------

    He tracks her to Rostov, Texas home of an observatory, a highly patrolled top secret science facility. There is unexplained night sky phenomena that make no sense as some people can see lights in the air while others see nothing. He finds Tori standing amidst other people staring into the sky as if she was beckoned there like in that old movie. Before he can figure out what is going on, a massacre follows when someone begins to shoot at the lights. -------------

    This is an exciting thriller with several major happenings going on that converge in Rostov, but fail to completely do so in the story line. Filled with action, conspiracy buffs will relish this engaging tale as the audience and the new Mexico sheriff want to know what is going behind the fence, under the ground and in the sky. Sort of combining Roswell with Marfa, David Morrell provides his fans with an entertaining but somewhat disjointed tale.--------------

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Intriguing scenario for unexplained phenomenon.

    This book is a very fast read with strong, likable main characters, and a story that is original and intriguing. I had trouble putting it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    Excellent!!

    How could I have missed an intense author like David Morrell!!

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Keeps you interested....

    I really enjoyed the plot and all the characters in this book. The whole subject matter is such a popular topic now it really keeps you going and wanting to see where it leads. I have read other books by David Morrell and I have been very impressed with all of them so far. Can't wait to read more.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    Strange lights explored, yet not explained

    For as far back as anyone can remember, Rostov, Texas, has been home to an indefinable phenomenon, the Rostov Lights. "The Shimmer" explores this phenomenon without offering an explanation.
    Inspired by the similar real-life Texas Marfa Lights, Morrell decided to take this story, add a whole new world of characters and details, and turn it into something scary and all-too believable.
    Police officer Dan Page returns home from work one night to find his wife missing. She has left a note saying she's gone to visit her mother in Texas, but Page does not believe she would take such a spur-of-the-moment trip. He begins searching for her, eventually finding her in Rostov, Texas, where she seems to have changed personalities due to the addicting local Rostov Lights.
    With the help of the local sheriff, Dan finds his wife,Tori, at an observation tower where she sits alone waiting for the Lights to appear. She is non-responsive to Dan, and he cannot figure out why. As Dan and the sheriff wait together for something to happen, more people arrive to try to catch a glimpse of the famous Lights.
    Eventually a large crowd has gathered and some people begin seeing the Lights, while others see nothing. Tempers begin to flare as everyone reacts differently to the Lights. Soon, a gunman appears and begins randomly shooting into the crowd. After killing and injuring numerous people including the sheriff, Dan is able to reach the gunman and try to stop him. After a gruesome tussle, Tori is the one who winds up with Dan's gun, pulling the trigger on the gunman until he is well past dead.
    Unfortunately, this brings national attention to Rostov, pulling in thousands of people wanting to see the Lights, also drawing attention to Tori, Dan and their strange situation.
    Near where the Lights occur is a secret underground government testing facility that may or may not be related to the phenomenon. The people who work in this facility have no idea what they are testing, they just know they work underground for a six month period and get paid well to do so.
    However, strange things have started happening at this facility as well. Lovely music has been streaming in and curing headaches that the workers have been getting. The problem with this music is, it literally drives people crazy. Homicidal crazy. It seems as if the secret branch of the government that is in charge of this facility has encountered this problem before, and a secret unit is sent to take care of the problem at the same time the rest of the country is converging at Rostov to see the Lights.
    What happens when all this comes together is pure chaos.
    Stories of the past relating to the Lights and the testing facility help round out the current day happenings, however nothing is ever fully explained; the author leaves it up to the reader's imagination.
    Morrell taught at the University of Iowa for 16 years before becoming a full-time writer. He created the Rambo character, and is often referred to as the father of the modern action novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Chilling Mystery

    Dan Page's wife, Tori, has disappeared. Frantic with worry, he puts out requests to police to locate her knowing that they will do their best as he is a policeman also. He gets a call the next day from a little town in Texas named Rostov. The man on the phone says Tori has been found, but when Dan asks if she is all right, he is told he needs to come and see for himself.

    When Dan gets there, he finds that Tori seems to be mesmerized and in another world. She has come to Rostov because of a local feature; mysterious lights that some can see and some cannot. Tori can see them and is spending most of each night just staring at the lights. She is joined by many others, who all seem fascinated by what they are seeing; at least at first. While Dan tries to get Tori to leave, a man seems to have a psychotic break, and starts firing at the crowd. Multiple individuals are killed and the man gets Dan in his sights. Coming out of her trance, Tori grabs a sheriff's gun and kills the madman.

    Others start to be affected by the lights. The lights are located outside of a military installation, or as things evolve in the Page's understanding, the installation has been located near the lights. Personnel at the base start to have the same kind of breakdowns that the man at the observation field did, and more and more people are killed. In the midst of this, Dan and Tori do their best to determine what is going on, and what part the lights play in the havoc that has come to Rostov.

    David Morrell has written twenty-three other novels. The most famous are probably the Rambo novels that the popular movie series was based on. In The Shimmer, Morrell has created another suspenseful world that draws the reader to find the answers to the questions he poses. This book is recommended to thriller readers.

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  • Posted November 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A fun thriller, with a touch of the paranormal

    My first David Morrell book was Brotherhood of the Rose, which was also my first time liking movie so much that I wanted to read the book. David is a very talented writer, and you can tell that he does his research and really knows what he's talking about! For instance, one of the main characters in this book is a pilot. David learned how to fly planes and is now a pilot as well.

    The Shimmer introduces us to policeman Dan Page right in the middle of an unusual car chase. Dan had the day off and was flying his small plane, when he gets pulled into a car chase which does not end well. Dan's day does not get any better when he returns home to find his wife Tori gone, leaving a short note that she's gone to visit her mother. Even more surprising is the news that Tori was going to drive, but never made it. Tori is eventually located by the local police chief in a small Texas town called Rostov. Dan flies down immediately, and things go from strange to downright weird.

    Rostov seems like a nice enough small town....aside from the spooky abandoned military base, a huge observatory and, oh yeah, the appearance of mysterious lights that not everyone can see. Some people have positive reactions to the lights, but some become angry and one angry observer opens fire on the crowd, killing several bystanders. Despite the massacre, Tori does not want to leave the Lights, so Dan decides to investigate in order to save his marriage and solve the mystery.

    This was not what I'd call the usual Morrell thriller, as there's a touch of science fiction because of the Rostov Lights. Are they a natural phenomenon, a government experiment, ghosts, or possibly alien visitors?

    I think Morrell did a great job incorporating the mystery of the Lights, the possible government involvement, the various townfolk, and the relationship between Dan and Tori. Enjoyed this story much more than his last few books, and am now intrigued about the real-life lights in Marfa that inspired this story.

    Gave this book a 4 out of 5 rating as I think the writing was very good, it had a well thought-out plot, and the characters were both believable and interesting. I couldn't wait to read what came next, and recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a touch of the paranormal!

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Will grad your attention

    If you like action, you're going to enjoy "The Shimmer" but it's also for people who like suspense books. While sometimes the events that take place can be questionable (can there really be such a thing as these "lights"), the overall feeling you get from this book is that it's sort of like UFOs. Some people are going to have an easier time reading this book if they are more open minded. I'm not saying you need to believe in UFOs to enjoy it, but you need to try to be open to new ideas to at least get through the whole book. I enjoyed reading this book although at times I had to stop and think about what was being said and re-read it a couple of times before continuing with it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is amazing!!!

    The first time i looked at this book in the bookstore I wasn't too sure about it. So i got home and started reading it and i couldn't put it down. I was so intrigued by the story and the characters, that i just couldn't put it down. It has so many twists and turns that you keep guessing whats going to happen next. He is truly a timeless writer who can appeal to my age group and i would definately recommend him to anyone. He is one of my favorite authors that i look forward to reading more of his material

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    The Shimmer Captivates and Surprises

    This was my first time reading this author. I very much enjoyed the book - and was taken by the surreal nature of the work. It help my attention and I was compelled to stay with it until the end. The main characters are captivating and the relationship between the husband and wife is real world and will enable the reader to identify some of their relationship issues. The mystery of the lights drives the action and makes the reader think about war and violence. I recommend the work highly.

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great tale by David Morrell

    Title...The Shimmer
    Author...David Morrell
    Publisher...Vanguard Press
    Genre...Thriller
    Reason book was read...I've liked reading David Morrell books since the 80's. He's an excellent author.
    Main characters...Dan and Tori Page are the good guys. The bad guys are a couple military guys. One affected by the mysterious lights of the books title. The other someone trying to use the lights as a quasi super weapon.
    Summary...There are some mysterious lights that sometimes, to some but not all people, appear in the desert near a smallish west Texas town based on the real town and mystery lights of Marfa.
    Honestly when I picked up this book it was because I'm a fan of Mr. Morrell. The small description left me a little doubtful but I was very pleasantly surprised. Mr. Morrell weaves a good yarn around these lights that had me turning the pages much to the Frustration of my wife.
    The only part I didn't care much for was the tension between Dan and his wife, Tori. It just didn't ring right for me.

    Recommendation to read or not...Definitely read this if your into thrillers...

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

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    A SATISFYINGLY SPOOKY THRILLER

    Actor, director, producer, and two-time Audie finalist Phil Gigante gives an easy to listen to well enunciated reading of this satisfyingly spooky thriller. If you like the supernatural, psychotic mass murderers, no holds barred reporters, quirky scientists, and conniving government officials in your stories , look no further and give a listen to David Morrell's The Shimmer.

    Author Morrell must know something about Marfa, Texas, which has a reputation for odd lights that appear in the sky. He has chosen Rostov, Texas, as his fictional site, but to most Texans we're talking Marfa.

    Nonetheless, Santa Fe cop Dan Page goes home to an empty house. His wife, Tori, isn't there. No, she hasn't gone shopping. She left a note saying she's going to visit her mother, but that's not the case either. Tori has gone off to Rostov to see the lights.

    Dan tracks her down only to find himself in the middle of a blood bath as after shooting at the lights a crazed gunman opens fire on the crowd. Well, nothing draws a crowd , reporters, and TV crews better than a massacre in a remote Texas town noted for other worldly phenomena. It's up to Dan to bring order out of chaos.

    -Gail Cooke

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