Monday, October 17, 2011

Midnight on Mourn Street / Christopher Conlon

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Suspense/Literary Fiction

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

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YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
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The author of one other novel, A Matrix of Angels, <link our review> Christopher Conlon lives in Maryland. He has written numerous short stories and poetry collections. Conlon also edits books, most notably the Bram Stoker Award-winning He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson. For more, visit Conlon’s website.


Reed Waters is a non-descript middle-aged man with some skeletons in his closet. Teenager Mauri Dyson is a runaway who does what she must to survive with secrets of her own. What happens when they meet and each discovers the secrets of the other?


If the two novels I’ve read written by Christopher Conlon, this one and A Matrix of Angels, are any indication, he likes characters who had childhood experiences that have haunted them as adults. While not exactly the same, it appears from the description of Conlon’s book of poetry, Starkweather Dreams, that it is told from the viewpoint of serial killer Charles Starkweather, and delves into the same psychological neighborhood.

If done right, this combination is the recipe for an intense, satisfying story. The conflict in such a tale comes from the character’s own mind as they attempt working out their issues. In this instance, the fact that the path one character is taking to accomplish this is on a collision course to disrupt that of the other, adds additional conflict. I love stories where it doesn’t appear that there is a way for characters we identify with to all meet their apparent goals. This makes the story unpredictable and keeps us interested. Will one of the characters realize their goal is wrong and change it? Or maybe the happy ending we’re hoping for isn’t in the cards. The only way to find out is to read to the end. With Midnight on Mourn Street, Christopher Conlon gives us one of those intense, satisfying stories, done right.


Some adult language and content.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos and other proofing errors.

Rating: ***** Five stars

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