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Nolan's Pop Culture Review--now in our third calendar year
PCR # 195  (Vol. 4, No. 51)  This edition is for the week of December 15--21, 2003.

Murder on the Woo-Woo Express by Patty G. Henderson
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Greetings fellow travelers on the Woo Woo Express. It's time for another edition and we have two very different but equally outstanding woo woo books for your enjoyment.

MURDER ON THE WOO WOO EXPRESS will be cutting back to an "irregular" publication status. We'll go to press, so to speak, when we have at least two woo woo books to review for you. And how often will that be, you ask? Well, that depends on authors and publishers of woo woo mysteries. Get us your books for review. It's good exposure.

Feast on the cheesecakes dished out this issue, for QUIETUS and THE HADES PROJECT. Enjoy.

Until next time, Patty G. Henderson

by Vivian Schilling
Penguin Books
433 pages

How would you feel if you almost died, but lived? The average person would be very relieved and thankful for this gift. However, what if you had really cheated death and now death was chasing you? The fear in Quietus is based on this idea. Kylie OíRourke with her husband Jack and her best friend, Amelia and her husband are being treated to a ski vacation. On returning from this trip, the plane crashes into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Only five people survive this crash, which includes Kylie and her friends. As Kylie recuperates in the hospital, she finds that her memories of the rescue are completely different from the other survivors. Her doctor explains that the difference is due to the morphine administered to her. Kylie though finds herself in a reality between this world and another, though we donít know what exactly the other world is or who or what inhabits the other world. The other survivors attempt to be understanding to Kylie, but also are recuperating physically and mentally from the guilt of being alive. Most dramatically is the distance this places between Kylie and her husband. Both need support and reassurances from each other and both are fearful and guilt ridden about their own individual needs. What makes things worse for Kylie is that now she is being followed by her past! As a child, Kylie witnessed the murder of her teacher. Now the murderer, who was executed, is now following her in order to take Kylie to her death. To make this worse, no one sees him except for Kylie. Whether the place in this book is strictly fictional, purgatory, heaven, or hell, the fear embracing the reader is real and I found myself never being concerned with the length of the book. The book actually engulfed my mind. Quietus in the dictionary means: a silencing of a rumor, anything that kills as in a blow, or a final discharge as a debt. So evidently then, Quietus is the moment of death or the transition from life to another form. The fear comes when the form is known and waiting. This book is beyond being a page-turner, it actually haunts the reader while you are reading it and afterwards. I found myself staying awake during the night due to the fear from this book. Chilling? Oh yes. Believable? Well, I wouldnít have thought so, but Quietus made me look over my shoulder and had me thinking about the characters and my own vulnerability in this world long after reading the book. The scariest type of supernatural is one that could be true and is logically true to the person. Before reading Quietus, I would never have believed that this book could even be written, much less believed. Now, Iím wondering. That is the sign of an exceptional writing experience, one that leaves you thinking. This is the second published book by Vivian Schilling. Besides being a novelist, she is a screenwriter and a movie actress. After reading Quietus, I would highly suggest that she spend her time completely as a novelist. (Iím actually going to buy her first book but I canít imagine it being near to the quality of Quietus.)

4 Cheesecakes

Reviewed by Teri Davis for Murder on the Woo Woo Express   

by Justin Gastainis
Brighid's Fire Books

Wow! This is the rare jewel that no one expects and everyone can't wait to discover.

Basically the plot of Hades Project involves a scientific research lab that successfully release a demon that is anxious to have his friends join in his fun. Science messing with religion can always be unpredictable, but this page-turner cannot be put down while you're reading it.

How would like the assignment of figuring out how to catch the demon, keep him from killing anyone else, not let the media or the government really know what is going on, and return him to where he belongs?

With such an unbelievable story line, The Hades Project is written in such a manner that it seems logical and very believable. The characters are masterfully described as real people with real faults. There is the priest named Dirty Eugene, the hero named Pacilio who might find his soul-mate while demon chasing, the woman doctor, the good witch and the bad witch, and the demon who possesses different bodies with the characters.

With a sense of humor and obvious research into the Catholic Church's and Wicca's dealing with demons, Mr. Gastainis has written an outstanding thriller that will keep you up all night.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever's left, no matter how improbable it might sound, is the truth." This quote from Sherlock Holmes that is used with this book probably most accurately explains the thought process that the reader goes through.

When Justin Gustainis writes another book, I want it immediately. Wow! This makes The Exorcist seem like a simple fairy tale!

5 Cheesecakes (This is the only 5 that I have given any book.)

Reviewed by Teri Davis for Murder on the Woo Woo Express

Email: Patty G. Henderson

The book reviews of "Quietus" and "The Hades Project" are ©2003 by Teri Davis. All contents of "Murder on the Woo-Woo Express" are ©2003 by Patty G. Henderson.   Webpage design and all graphics this page (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova ©2003.   All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova