Gerald M. Weinberg
on Feb. 22, 2012 :
I had promised to review Terry Hayman's novel, Jessica Falls, but as the
story drew me into its web, I was having trouble figuring out how to
communicate with my readers. To begin with, Jessica Falls is not your usual
plain vanilla mystery. I didn't know how to describe the book--until I ran
across a quote from the protagonist/narrator, Weston Long. His own words
pretty much told the story:
"...a big part of why I was still here, now chased and threatened by
gun-wielding types, was because I needed to understand what made Jessica
Pollard tick. What made her who she was that she could twist me around her
baby finger? What gave her that power? Or maybe it was just part of my own
psychic Dumpster diving. I needed to go deep into her decadence to
understand the dark patches of my own soul."
I don't know how women readers will respond to this story, but as a man, I
responded to virtually every page with memories of that mysterious beautiful
woman who "could twist me around her baby finger." Like Wes Long, I endured
beatings (both physical and psychological) as I pursued my own "Jessica."
But unlike Wes, I didn't have to contend with every crime in the book:
murder, embezzlement, fraud, rape, assault, drug dealing, incest, and even
cruelty to animals.
No, Jessica Falls is not a comfortable story, but it's one you won't be able
to put down until both you and Wes have learned about "the dark patches" in
your own soul.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)