If this was to be your last day on this planet, would you be satisfied with the life you have lived? Have you existed in harmony with those around you- and within yourself? What if your answer to these questions is a resounding ‘No’? Perhaps you have serious regrets or some unfinished business. These are very weighty notions to be sure. Even more serious is what would happen if you leave this life unexpectedly…and enter the afterlife with such misgivings in mind? Sprinkle in aspects of mystery, romance and horror to that query and you have Lullaby of the Dead by author Lynn Lamb. Readers who enjoy captivating metaphysical fiction with a dash of horror will fall very hard for this book.
Essentially, the novel follows the actions of the protagonist, Landry Sinclair, in life and after death. At the outset of the novel, Landry is following the corporate path of upward mobility and can definitely be classified as a woman on the move. However, something in her life is missing. when she looks in the mirror she is troubled by the image staring back at her. Before she has the opportunity to confront such an issue, while continuing her successful career path, Landry is brutally tortured and murdered by a sadistic serial killer. After this horrible event, Landry awakens…but not in the world she is accustomed to. She is in the afterlife and in the very home of her killer. Landry now has a front row seat to view his cruel savagery as he continues to torture and murder helpless victims. And she is not alone. Will this be Landry’s ultimate Hell? To virtually relive her brutal demise for eternity? Or is this just the beginning of something much larger in scope?
I found the plot of this novel to be totally engaging and enthralling. There are a variety of twists and turns which will catch the reader unaware and entirely invested in the story. I experienced a full range of emotions while reading the work. From anger and shock to sadness and joy. There are also a number of themes which exist. Some of them are indubitably quite dark! However, I believe the theme of making peace with “one’s self” is the most prevalent and alluring message in the novel. To be able to pull that off when images of the afterlife and horrible deaths take place, is no easy feat. The author manages to do this with apparent ease and obvious skill.
There are also a fair number of characters who are presented in this story. They are all quite interesting and developed in the appropriate depth needed to play their corresponding roles. I found the character of Topanga to be particularly intriguing. He brought an element of calm reason and love to the novel. For instance, the romance which develops between Landry and Topanga is quite touching and works in perfect juxtaposition to the main idea of the novel. All that being said, as the main protagonist, Landry is obviously developed in the most depth. The changes she experiences virtually make her character at the end of the story the complete opposite of the Landry we are introduced to at the outset.
Overall I found this to be a fantastic novel. The reader cannot help but be emotionally entranced as they read each passing page with mouth agape! There are some disturbing scenes which take place and some sexual content. As such, it is recommended for adult readers. However…recommended it most certainly is!
5 out of 5 Deadly Stars for this one!