Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review of DEATH HAS A NAME by Jerry Hanel


 4 of 5 stars

 DEATH HAS A NAME is a smart inventive story that puts a unique spin on The Truth, not my truth or your truth, but THE TRUTH.  For Brodie Wade, The Truth is something he can see and must obey unquestioningly or suffer the consequences.  And suffer he does—from traumatizing physical abuse to being declared insane in his childhood.  The author does an excellent job of slowly revealing Brodie’s back-story throughout the book and it only makes you root more for this damaged young man. 

Brodie has channeled his psychic abilities into a semi-permanent job with the local police department.  His contact, Detective Phil Dawson, believes in Brodie and his ability even though he doesn’t understand it.  Brodie cannot reveal how he knows the things he does because frankly, who would believe him—“oh, by the way, I see phantoms who speak to me and wisps of gray fog everywhere demanding I listen to its whispers.”  The whole situation reminds me of the famous Jack Nicholson line in ‘A Few Good Men’, “You can’t handle the truth!”

When Detective Dawson calls Brodie in on another gruesome murder scene, Brodie gets his bad tingling feeling about it.  When the investigation takes a horrible turn and another body turns up, Brodie finds himself the prime suspect for the murders and lands in jail.  What The Truth reveals to him next is something far worse than two dead men.  If Brodie cannot follow the clues and solve the murders, a lot more than his freedom is at stake.  If the Angel of Death is freed, life on Earth as we know it will be destroyed.

The story is fast-paced and kept my attention throughout.  I would have loved for the author to reveal some back-story on how Phil and Brodie met, but I suppose that’s more material for another novel.  The copy I received, however, could use the eyes of a good editor.  There were typos that jarred me out of the story.  All and all, this is a very good book and I highly recommend it.