Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Liar, by John P. Murphy

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(Horror) Middle-aged bachelor, Greg Kellog, has a secret knack for making small changes to reality by "lying." To stop a series of deaths, "small changes" may not be enough. (23,878 words; Time: 1h:19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 RHorton:4 Nebula

"The Liar," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 03-04|16, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Greg does track down the cause of the deaths, and he and Julie fix it for good. Moreover, he seems to have cemented his relationship with Julie, and they've even found some peace for Bull Kelly. The use of religion at the very end is effective because it's understated.

Con: For a ghost story, it isn't particularly scary.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This had a certain charm from the main character, but US small town tales don't really speak to me so I didn't really appreciate that side of it. Also, the plot with the daughter had me gnashing my teeth at one point, although the author did drag it away from the horrible cliche I thought he was about to commit. On the other hand, there was a nice sense of his power having some rules and limits that weren't too hand wavy.

  2. I enjoyed the small town New England setting and the set-in-his-ways bachelor main character. However, some of the character interactions felt off. I liked the lying knack, but thought its opposite wasn't really well integrated into the story. Also, the whole ghost mystery and its resolution didn't feel very satisfying to me.