Saturday, 26 November 2011

Firefly Rain - Richard Dansky

Jacob Logan left his home in the town of Maryfield in rural Carolina many years ago to build a new life in the big city, hardening his heart to his parent's pleas to come back and make his life in the old place.  It was only now that his parent's were dead that he found himself drawn back there after his business collapsed.  The old house looked very much the same, but was it welcoming him back or trying to drive him away?

The furniture van than was transporting his stuff was in a bad accident, destroying all his possessions and then his car was stolen from the drive and vanished without trace.  Left all alone on the property, Jacob was had no means of leaving and had to rely on food parcels brought by the old caretaker of the property, the uncommunicative, surly Carl.  Strange things start to happen around his new home, with doors opening of their own accord and a box of toy soldiers appearing mysteriously appearing on the porch.  But the thing that really made Jacob's skin crawl was that the fireflies seemed to be totally avoiding his land, and the beautiful, incandescent light of these little beetles stopped abruptly at his boundaries.

Jacob eventually makes it in to town after he is picked up by a good Samaritan called Sam and his dog Asa on a pick-up truck , where he finds himself going head to head with Hanratty, the officer investigating the theft of his car.  He also makes contact with other people from his past such as Mr Hilliard the pharmacist who sold the vanilla cokes he still dreamed of from his childhood, and Reverend Trotter the local preacher.

But as Jacob keeps spotting his car being driven through his property and almost dies after chasing it in the rain, he starts to wonder if Carl or someone is messing with his mind, or is there something supernatural going on.  Determined to find out more about Officer Hanratty, Jacob visits the local library to look through the newspaper archives, only to have a terrifying experience down in the basement.

Is it his parents?  Do they want him to promise to stay in the old house and lead his life as they had?  Was pretty librarian Adrienne a lure and a reward to keep him there?  And why was a sinister dog attacking the house every night, frantically trying to get in and attack him?

As the town crowds in on him, and Jacob starts to feel overwhelmed by their suspicion and disapproval, the only ray of light for him is his no-nonsense friend from the city Jenna, who comes to stay because she is so worried about him.  But after his apparently driver-less car is driven into the side of Adrienne's apartment forcing her to seek refuge with Jacob at the farmhouse, events spiral out of control and Jacob is confronted with the truth about his destiny.  Will he be able to save himself and the two women he is trying to protect in his house, and will somebody or something have to die to set him free?

Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky is a good horror story that keeps you turning the pages to find out how it will unfold.  It makes you want to know if Jacob is going out of his mind, if he is being used by human forces for their own sinister purposes or if the ghosts of his parents are controlling him and compelling him to stay.

Have a big bacon and egg fried sandwich with this one, and a coke float like the ones Jacob used to enjoy as a kid, as you try and work out why the fireflies avoid Jacob's land and what it is that they want him to do.

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