Written by: Matt Molgaard
I’m not a big fan of reviewing the work of HNR contributors, because at the end of the day, I cannot lie to the masses. If someone’s book is a certified stinker, it’s my job to let the world know that; we all need to save money where we can. That’s why it was a challenge tackling Lou Rera’s Sign. I just didn’t know what to expect. Sure, Lou can whip up a nifty review, but can he write a quality novel?
Yes. Yes he can.
Sign starts a little slow, but quickly puts Jim and Deirdre in the middle of a supernatural mess that all begins with man’s (and woman’s) greatest pitfall: the call of infidelity. Jim is away on business in California when he hooks up with a dreamboat that isn’t his wife. But Jim doesn’t just find himself in the arms of a mysterious woman, he also finds himself entangled in a planned homicide, and one year later the ghosts of Jim’s mistakes rear their ugly heads, and Deirdre isn’t going to be spared the pain of it all… if she’s spared in the slightest.
Rera weaves a fantastic tale that a great number of us are going to relate to. His characters are very real… very human, and a result we the reader uncover a unique degree of connectivity with the story. But beyond the realities of it all are a myriad of strange and frightening occurrances. The kind of occurrances that will go unmentioned here for the sake of surprise, but could also translate very well to screen. Sign is a novel begging for cinematic adaptation.
Rera’s comfort with words really shines, as he paints believable scenario after believable scenario. And when it comes time to ratchet up the true terror of it all, the man doesn’t miss a beat. This is a controlled story that leaves us feeling oddly claustrophobic and deeply unsettled. The scares really work, and the characters themselves help make that possible.
Rera’s got a descriptive nature about him that pulls us in from the jump, and his story twists are perfectly timed. While Sign isn’t a very long novel, it’s a very well thought out and detailed piece that will call to you until the final page has been turned. Although I haven’t seen a wealth of promotion for the book, it’s more than deserving. This is a damn rewarding read!
Thus far Sign ranks amongst my top reads of 2015.