Two quick announcements before I jump into the book review – I’m up on both my group blogs today. On The Lucky 13s I’m sharing how I landed my agent and over on From the Write Angle I’m talking about the dirty deed – self-promotion.
If the cover art of Ilsa J. Bick’s DRAW THE DARK doesn’t make you want to read it, then perhaps my assurance that the prose contained therein is just as dark and haunting will.
Christian’s parents disappeared when he was a child, mother not long after father. She claimed that her husband had “gone sideways” into a picture, and couldn’t find his way out. Christian can only assume that she left to find him. Now in his teens, Christian has begun to paint the sideways place on his bedroom walls, losing himself to the hypnotism of his own brush – and more. Lately, he’s been painting in his sleep.
And what he paints is a door.
The “draw” of DRAW THE DARK is double edged. Christian not only paints the mystery of his youth, but he funnels the darkness of those around him. Christian’s ability to unknowingly illustrate the deepest secrets and darkness experiences of others has led to tragedy in his past – including his own culpability in the suicide of his third grade teacher, and the grisly death of his aunt.
Now, Christian has touched on the darkness that permeates his small hometown of Winter, Wisconsin. Swastikas appear on a local barn in the middle of the night, the skeleton of a malformed infant is discovered in the renovation of a centuries old home, and the sideways place is starting to resemble a Winter of the past. One that used to be home to a synagogue, and a large population of Jews.
As Christian stumbles onto a century-old unsolved murder, the darkness of the past continues to infect his present and he faces the question of whether he can continue to exist in a town where everyone knows he’s not quite right, or if it would be best if he opened the door he hasn’t painted a knob onto yet… and slipped sideways into the light.