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The Moons of Summer
     

The Moons of Summer

4.5 4
by S. K. Epperson
 

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A sleepy Kansas burg awakens to the horror of a mortician operating on the wrong side of death.

Guy Driscoll can't stand his teenage daughter, but he loves her literally to death when he drags her out of Chicago and plants her in the middle of tiny Colson, Kansas, where he hopes she'll adopt small town values and learn to hate him less. His plan fails, and the

Overview

A sleepy Kansas burg awakens to the horror of a mortician operating on the wrong side of death.

Guy Driscoll can't stand his teenage daughter, but he loves her literally to death when he drags her out of Chicago and plants her in the middle of tiny Colson, Kansas, where he hopes she'll adopt small town values and learn to hate him less. His plan fails, and the antipathy continues with beautiful Michael Bish, a female police officer Guy mistakenly lambastes for shooting local mortician Vernon Diest in the back. Michael claims it was self-defense, but few in town want to believe that Vernon Diest, descendant of Colson's founding fathers, is capable of such malice. Only Elma, the deaf-mute stepsister of Vernon, knows the truth. Elma, who lives somewhere on the third floor of the Diest mansion steals food from Vernon's refrigerator at night. She knows more about Vernon than she will ever be able to reveal, and it will take the light of a telling moon, a perfect summer moon, to awaken the people of Colson to the nightmare in their midst.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in the small town of Colson, Kans., Epperson's ( Borderland ) tale of a loony town mortician who systematically murders people in order to keep his business afloat is more funny than horrifying. Hoping to spend more time with his troubled, motherless 16-year-old daughter Adele, Guy Driscoll gives up his job as managing editor of a major Chicago newspaper to become a general assignment reporter for the Colson Beacon . But the Driscolls get off to a bad start: Adele begins an affair with the reclusive next-door neighbor, a man more than twice her age, and Guy makes an enemy of officer (Mrs.) Michael Bish through a newspaper article. Then Adele is shot dead by someone intent on framing Michael, and father and cop combine forces to try to solve the mystery. The tale is neatly if busily plotted with Guy falling in love with Michael and the gun-happy undertaker finding a comrade in arms. The atmosphere is short on horror but the book is enjoyable as a suspenseful black comedy, a grotesque with a Midwest twist. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Epperson's most recent gothic tale ( Borderland , LJ 2/15/92) is set in a Kansas town where Chicago reporter Guy Driscoll brings his teenage daughter Adele to imbue her with small-town values. She is soon murdered by Vernon Dienst, the local undertaker made desperate by financial straits. The reader presses on to learn when Driscoll will catch him. Dienst's first try at murder was Michael Bish, the town's female cop, whom Dienst has admired from afar. Dienst begins sexually assaulting deaf-mute Elma, his stepsister, and the two fall in love. Driscoll and Bish also happen to fall in love. The novel is not as bad as it sounds. Though the plot is based on cliches and strained credibilities, Epperson's taut narrative nicely intensifies the claustrophobic small-town setting. When the narrative veers away from the mortuary and brings Elma on the scene, it rises above soap opera. For extensive fiction collections.-- Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., Wilmington, Del.
Joe Collins
An angst-driven melodrama about a small town where everyone has a story to tell. The hero, steely-eyed widower Guy Driscoll, holds his daughter in his arms just as she's shot to death; meanwhile, female police officer Michael Bish is forever running to the hospital to be with her brain-dead cop husband, also the victim of a shooting. Naturally, Michael and Guy fall in love, but they keep pushing each other away, each citing too much emotional baggage. Meanwhile, the other love story revolves around town mortician Vernon Diest and his deaf-mute housemate, Elma. Vernon, victim of childhood abuse, is out for revenge and is also in financial difficulties, so to drum up business he starts knocking off various townspeople. A quick, unchallenging, but interesting diversion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556113826
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/22/1994
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.07(d)

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The Moons of Summer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I GOT THI8 BOOK SECOND HAND FROM A THRIF STORE. IT DIDN'T HAVE A COVER PICTURE. SO I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF TIME. BUT I OPENED IT AND READ A FEW LINES. AND WOW! IT GRABBED ME AND PULLED ME IN. I NEVER HEARD OF THIS EPPERSON WRITER BEFORE LAST WEEK. BUT SHE'S THE BOMB! ACTION, NON STOP THRILL RIDE. I WANNA SEE IT ON THE BIG SCREEN.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Going to read more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big Epperson fan. Can't get enough! This story had lots of twists and turns!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago