An intriguing tale of darts, drugs, and death.
Russell Harmon is the self-proclaimed king of his small-town Idaho dart league, but all is not well in his kingdom. In the midst of the league championship match, the intertwining stories of those gathered at the 411 club reveal Russells dangerous debt to a local drug dealer, his teammate Tristan Mackeys involvement in the disappearance of a college student, and a love triangle with a former classmate.
The characters in Keith Lee Morriss second novel struggle to find the balance between accepting and controlling their destinies, but their fates are threaded together more closely than they realize.
The Trouble with Liza Hatter
On the evening before his college graduation, Tristan Mackey walked into the campus library, probably with the notion of trying to steal or deface a book or two - he couldnt seem to remember exactly now, but probably to do something of the sort, something to make him feel more like himself and less like the other self, the one that seemed like a version of Tristan borrowed by other people in order to suit their own purposes. At any rate, he was bent on making some sort of trouble, probably because he was a little drunk already, and the library, because it was quiet and secret, offered the sort of trouble he seemed to be looking for, which was quiet and secret trouble, the kind of trouble that would only be known to himself, that would have no consequences outside of his own head, that wouldnt keep him from graduating.
The trouble he found there was Liza Hatter, a girl from his political science class. He found her in the ...
The penchant for driving the plot of his fast-paced mystery novel is what makes Morris an author to watch. Each of the main characters receives enough stage time for the reader to really care about how these characters end up by the book's end. The creatively titled sections, colorful dialogue and inventive usage of literary tactics like stream-of-consciousness for the text written from Vince's perspective, as well as for the narration of the final dart match, keep the wheels constantly whirring. The only shortcoming is Kelly's slightly less-than-believable portrayal at points, as the male author's inevitable challenge is the convincing illustration of a female (especially a maternal figure). But the highlights of the book upstage this faltering and make every moment memorable.
(Reviewed by Allison Stadd).
Full Review (794 words).
A Short History of Darts
The origin of the game of darts is lost in the mists of time. The game is known to have been played since at least the Middle Ages in England, but it seems likely that bored soldiers lounging around the campsite have probably been throwing arrows at targets for much longer. In fact, it doesn't take much imagination to trace the origins much further back - to the first day that one of our distant ancestors picked up a stone and lobbed it at a passing meal and, on missing, decided to hone his skills throwing at a target.
Early darts boards were probably whatever came to hand, with wine barrels being popular, as the cork bung in the center provided a convenient target. Later, cross-sections of ...
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