Life After Dane by Edward Lorn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A mother’s love is undying… and so is Dane.
After the state of Arkansas executes serial killer Dane Peters, the Rest Stop Dentist, his mother discovers that life is darker and more dangerous than she ever expected.
The driving force behind his ghostly return lies buried in his family’s dark past. As Ella desperately seeks a way to lay her son’s troubled soul to rest, she comes face to face with her own failings.
If Ella cannot learn why her son has returned and what he seeks, then the reach of his power will destroy the innocent, and not even his mother will be able to stop him.
Dane, known as the Rest Stop Dentist, was sentenced to death and executed for the deaths of 42 people. Dane’s mother, Ella, is dealing with the fallout of being the mom of a serial killer.
Ella, after returning home from following her son’s trial progress in many different cities for the crimes he committed, tries to attend a church meeting when she’s turned away. People don’t know what to make of her and want to keep her at arm’s length, blaming her for her son’s deeds. How could she not know what he was becoming? Did she not see the signs?
“I don’t suffer gossip, but some say you should have known. A mother would have known.”
Soon her thoughts lead her to Dane and the first memory she shares with the reader of Phil; her husband and Dane’s father, beating him across the legs for leaving a toy on the floor. After a few cross words with her husband over the hurt he was inflicting on Dane, Ella quickly submitted after Phil threatened her with violence, and that is how she continually dealt with the situation.
Ella keeps seeing apparitions of Dane at the store and at home, when he was younger and then grown in his prison jumpsuit before she realizes he’s not a hallucination, he’s really there and he wants his mother to be happy, even if it kills her.
This ghostly tale starts out intense, giving the reader a look into Ella and Dane’s past. Child abuse is prevalent in this read. Be forewarned. My heart ached for Dane and I wanted to shake a knot in Ella who was so obtuse, never recognizing or just ignoring her son’s pleas to stop Phil, to take him away. In the end she couldn’t fathom why her son hated her so much.
Great characterization made this read what it is, even though there were no real heroes. When Sven, a reporter, entered the story, the pacing and direction changed and I was not as absorbed, but then my interest picked back up again a bit later when traveling to see what Dane had in store for his mother. The twists and turns in this read had just the right touch and the prose is so fluid I zipped right through to a surprisingly perfect ending.
A great read I’d easily recommended!
*I was given a copy of this read in exchange for an honest review*