Halfway House

Weston Ochse. Journalstone, $18.95 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-940161-48-8
This routine attempt at a moralistic ghost story is haunted by missed opportunities. Epileptic orphan Bobby Dupree searches Southern California for his birthright, Elvis’s Double Platinum Award for Heartbreak Hotel. His friendship with surfer bum Kanga and Kanga’s daughter, Laurie, entangles him with legendary Halfway House, a vortex where the living and dead commune. As souls are pulled into the house, a tragic accident forces Bobby to fight malefic forces for Kanga’s sanity. Ochse (SEAL Team 666) has an evident talent for striking plotting and imagery, but the action isn’t anchored by sympathetic characters or believable supernaturalism. Little effort is spent instilling belief in this scattered parade of lost souls, demonic Wardens, and a rather drab “haunted” house. Bobby, Kanga, and Laurie are caricatures, not characters, and without the aid of suspended disbelief, disparate story elements dissolve into parody. “To have never loved was far worse than to have loved and lost,” Bobby reflects. Such simplistic moralizing belongs in the limbo to which Halfway House’s lost souls are consigned. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-940161-49-5
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