Thursday, June 23, 2011

Books: Dark Companion by Jim Nisbet

Dark CompanionDark Companion by Jim Nisbet

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This short novel by progressive crime and noir author Nisbet is a strange mix of ideas that don't seem to cohere thoroughly, adding elements of science, science fiction and family drama and despite an interesting premise don't quite flow as well as they should. Main character B.J. Rolf is a chemical engineer, laid off by his mega-corporation after their latest round of Darwinian acquisition and downsizing. Left at home to brood, he compulsively does yard work and reads about astronomical phenomenon, especially neutron stars, while his faithful wife works and cooks, and his son attends university. When his wife leaves suddenly to scout out opportunities in Chicago, B.J. is pulled into the life of his neighbor, whom he previously considered a ne'er do well, but is forced to change his mind in a hurry as an incident of extraordinary violence upends his life completely and sends him on the run as a fugitive. Nisbet does show considerable imagination and sympathy with his characters, which are well drawn in the course of what is essentially three interlocked stories loosely held together by a few interlocking elements. But in the end, we are left with more questions than answers from this talented and enigmatic author. Dark Companion: A Novel -

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