Bad Signs

R.J. Ellory. Overlook, $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4683-1127-3
This unpleasant thriller shows British author Ellory (A Quiet Belief in Angels) at far from his best. In California in 1952, when Elliott “Digger” Danziger is six and his half-brother, Clarence “Clay” Luckman, is five, Clay’s drunken, enraged father breaks their mother’s neck with a baseball bat in front of them before running off forever. In their early teens, Digger and Clay end up in a juvenile correctional facility in Hesperia, Calif., where in 1964 they’re taken hostage by a death row inmate, Earl Sheridan. After breaking out, Sheridan takes the boys on a murderous rampage, which triggers a massive manhunt. Horrified by Sheridan’s violence, Clay must find a way to stay alive. Innocent bystander after innocent bystander is slaughtered, and whatever sympathy Digger garnered as a result of his traumatic childhood is quickly dissipated. Readers should be prepared for gratuitous bloodshed, heavy-handed foreshadowing, and baroque prose (“Clay knew then that his brother was more than likely lost, and again he questioned the woof and warp of all things”). Agent: Euan Thorneycroft, A.M. Heath (U.K.). (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-4091-0650-0
Open Ebook - 440 pages - 978-1-4683-1332-1
Paperback - 440 pages - 978-1-4683-1432-8
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