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OCTOBER 20, 2011
Night Strangers ~ Chris Bohjalian
****comments by Carol K
Someone suggested to me that Chris Bohjalian's Night Strangers is a mystery, No, no, no, my pretty. It is horror, it is psychological terror, it is evil, it is creepy, it is raw and it is the perfect book to read as Halloween approaches. I'm not afraid, after all, I keep telling myself, this is only a book. So why are my nerves so taught. I'm as tense as a wound spring and I find myself gripping the book for dear life.
Bohjalian is a masterful storyteller, one who makes his characters so real, you'll feel like they are you friends, but believe me, in this case, you'll be glad that most of them are not. Some readers state the book begins slowly. It might, but I was hooked as soon as I read the prologue. I can see the comparisons that some are making to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ira Levin and if you're a fan of any of these, I think you'd enjoy Night Strangers. It's the best of this genre I've read in a long time.
Some are saying Night Strangers is unlike any of Bohjalian's other books. I don't agree. I see all of what attracted me in his other book. A well thought out, thoroughly researched, believable story, with psychological undertones, vivid descriptions of both characters and location and even twins which seem to show up frequently in his works and always are intriguing.
A brief summation of the plot, better explained by reviewers than I can, but here goes...
Respected Pilot Chip Linton's plane is the victim of geese and he has to ditch in Lake Champlain. Over in over in his mind he sees a successful resolution to his plight as he pictures the miraculous survival of passengers of the ill fated flight rescued by Chelsey Sullenberg whose plane met a similar fate on the Hudson in January of 2009. Not to be. A giant wave from one of the rescue ferries swamps Chip's landing and 39 of his passengers die. Suffering PTSD, Chip, his wife and twin daughters relocate from Pennsylvania to upper state New Hampshire to Bethel, a small community where they hope for a chance to shrug off the past of the ill fated crash and go on with their lives. Not to be. Let's just say there's some strange happenings going on here. I love the way Bohjalian conjures up a tale blending the use of herbs, both medicinal and as potions, the greenhouses where they grow, the folklore of witches and covens in New England, damaged souls, the forces of good and evil to create a superior story that leaves us breathless.
I'd rather not tell you much more. Just read it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
A side note: I'd really like to thank Norm Hyer for adopting Chris Bohjalian in our library. Norm's generosity, like others who have adopted an author, increases what we can offer for the enjoyment of all of our readers.