Once you buy into the somewhat unlikely premise of The Martyring
--a haunted German family of master stained-glass-window artists transported to modern-day Florida--you're on your way to an unusual and rewarding thriller experience. Writers as diverse as Loren D. Estleman
and William X. Kienzle
have raved about Thomas Sullivan's unique prose style, and it's not hard to see why. "At a second glance, the undefinable structure resolved itself into a building like a church pew, narrow upper story indented above the first. Within the soaring top wedge were a series of tightly hemmed rectangles that glittered like troubled water." That's young Kurt Nehmer getting his first look at the Hauptmann family compound in Padobar. His mother was a Hauptmann, so Kurt has been invited to learn the family trade--and find out why so many members of the clan die in oddly similar accidents.
From Library Journal
From time immemorial, Hauptmann family members have been creators of stained glass. Young Kurt Nehmann, a Hauptmann through his mother, leaves his native Germany to learn the family business in Florida. From the beginning, though, Kurt feels like an outsider. There are secrets and history of which he is unaware, and for a long time no one seems willing to bring him truly into the fold. His forbidding grandmother Gerta, his frighteningly cruel uncle Detlef, and his sexy cousin Ute all mystify him. At the same time, Jack Skelote, a middle-aged, recently divorced cop, is trying to solve a series of horrifying murders. As the body count mounts, Skelote finally concludes that a Hauptmann family member is responsible. Sullivan has created a tale that fits easily within the Gothic horror tradition, and some of the details of the grisly murders are suitably disturbing. Unfortunately, however, much of the plot is predictable, and the characters never seem to come completely to life. Recommended only for large fiction collections where horror is in demand.?Dean James, Murder by the Book, Houston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.