While a small theatrical company, Janus Theater is in production of Christopher Marlowe’s play Dr. Faustus strange, eerie things begin to transpire. Cast members disappear at random without a trace. Accidents occur without reason or explanation. An earthquake virtually shatters a busy downtown street while the producer seems beyond eccentric and erratic with his obsession with what lurks in the basement. Will Claire Porter be the only key to solving the mystery of Janus Theatre, find out in The Cornerstone.
Author Anne C. Petty literary voice sets the precedence for well crafted, sophisticated commercial fiction. Her knowledge of period pieces, historical dates and cultural significance and landmarks is impressive and accentuates the realism of this story. References to the past only to be eclipsed into the present and back again are haunting and paint a vivid picture of unease unto the reader. Her excerpts of Marlowe’s play are well utilized and enhance the tale rather than unnecessarily complicating it.
The character development is elusive at first, interesting and compelling. We adapt a need to get to know Claire along with the other protagonists as they interact with one another. Their actions peel back the psychological layers as we delve further into the midst of the action.
Subtext or theme of the paranormal in historical places increases the plausibility of the story making Petty’s read a hair raising experience. Suddenly we no longer doubt the very farfetched idea of a supernatural presence and embrace its possibility.
The relationship between Claire and her mother is heartfelt and evokes a certain sense of empathy. We feel her melancholy and sadness instantly making her a three dimensional character with flaws and emotional depth the same as you and me. Her silently cheer her on in hopes of achieving her needs and wants as we rip through chapter after chapter to unfold what happens next.
Petty’s Cornerstone is highly imaginative and original, a welcome break from the norm. Her paranormal tale sees the competition in literary form and otherwise and flawlessly raises the ante for a diverse demographic. It’s evident to see her deeply cementing her validity and longevity within the rapidly growing catalogue of JournalStone Publications.
I’m blessed to have read another of Petty’s works titled Shaman’s Blood. Her literary prose is poetic and enchanting. She has a serious talent for craftsmanship of the word without talking down to her readers.
The final climax intertwining the living and the dead is worth the price of admission alone in this epic, ghastly tale. A firm recommendation for the discerning horror fan.
Book Review: The Cornerstone – Author Anne C. Petty