Nicole Austin – Scandalous

{February 8, 2008}   Duma Key by Stephen King


No more than a dark pencil line on a blank page. A horizon line, maybe. But also a slot for blackness to pour through…A terrible construction site accident takes Edgar Freemantle’s right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. A marriage that produced two lovely daughters suddenly ends, and Edgar begins to wish he hadn’t survived the injuries that could have killed him. He wants out. His psychologist, Dr. Kamen, suggests a “geographic cure,” a new life distant from the Twin Cities and the building business Edgar grew from scratch. And Kamen suggests something else.

“Edgar, does anything make you happy?”

“I used to sketch.”

“Take it up again. You need hedges…hedges against the night.”

Edgar leaves Minnesota for a rented house on Duma Key, a stunningly beautiful, eerily undeveloped splinter of the Florida coast. The sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico and the tidal rattling of shells on the beach call out to him, and Edgar draws. A visit from Ilse, the daughter he dotes on, starts his movement out of solitude. He meets a kindred spirit in Wireman, a man reluctant to reveal his own wounds, and then Elizabeth Eastlake, a sick old woman whose roots are tangled deep in Duma Key. Now Edgar paints, sometimes feverishly, his exploding talent both a wonder and a weapon. Many of his paintings have a power that cannot be controlled. When Elizabeth’s past unfolds and the ghosts of her childhood begin to appear, the damage of which they are capable is truly devastating.

Nic’s Recommendation:

No rabid dogs, scary clowns or possessed cars in this one.

Duma Key is a tale of the paranormal that could explain what happened to Brian Smith, the distracted motorist who ran into Mr. King in 1999. Sometime later, I don’t remember how long, Mr. Smith died mysteriously. The autopsy found no conclusive cause of death. *g* Have I got you interested in the book yet?

This book captured me from the first sentence and kept me wrapped up until the last word. There was no sleep, not because I had nightmares, but due to my inability to put the book down. I grew up reading Stephen King’s stories, and while this one is decidedly different, it’s not less fabulous. Reading Duma Key was like traveling back to my twenties, a time when I would blast through one of his massive tomes in two days.

It was a fun reading experience for me since I live about thirty minutes north of the area in Florida Mr. King wrote about. He even talked up one of the radio stations I listen to. I’ve been to Davis Island, Long Boat Key, and other places he mentioned numerous times.

The friendship between Edgar and Wireman is delightful. These two characters were meant to meet and be friends. There were times I had the book down because I was laughing too hard to read. And Jack turned out to be quite the guy. Everyone needs a handy guy like him around!

I highly recommend you pick up Duma Key. The book is available in print from Amazon or in ebook from Fictionwise. WOOT! A big thank you to whoever made the ebook version happen!


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