Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shooting an Albatross

Shooting an AlbatrossRevenge takes a generation to come to fruition in Shooting an Albatross, Lundin's above average first horror thriller. One day the lonely life of a ninety-something Floyd Akerly is interrupted when he receives a stranger into his home, thinking that the man is there to keep him company and listen to his stories. But the uninvited visitor with an unusual interest in events that took place over six decades in the past has a different agenda. Only Floyd's careful recollection of the past prevents the stranger from carrying out his plan right away.

As Floyd begins tell of the events that transpired during the late summer of 1943 in Hollywood, what emerges is a story of Floyd's jealousy and humiliation that eventually leads to a murder. In 1943, the PGA Golf tour is suspended because of the War, but that does not stop an admiral and an Army general from descending on Hollywood's' El Rancho Golf Course to settle a bet through a game of golf. Because neither man can play, each partners up with a serviceman who can play golf. Evan Wilkins is chosen by the Army general and taken out of the normal Army chain of command, a move that annoys his commanding officer, Major Floyd Akerly. He becomes upset by Even's unexpected entry into the world of Hollywood's power elite and his relationship with a mogul's beautiful daughter, Amanda. The relationship between the young Amanda and the serviceman deepens into true love. The two end up kissing, an act witnessed by Floyd. In a fit of madness, jealous Akerly decides to sabotage Evan's chances of winning the game in hopes of destroying the private. But Floyd's plan backfires and he loses everything. Demoted to private, Akerly decides on taking the life of a man he blames for everything.

Shooting an Albatross is a smart horror novel that excavates the darkness that dwells in the hearts of men with assured sophistication. Floyd is not portrayed as a caricature, as evil characters often are in fiction; rather, Floyd Akerly is shown to be a man who does not seem to be able to feel or love. He is attracted to external manifestations and pursues them with external means, and in his path he leaves destruction and maimed lives. In a way, he is a tragic character because he unknowingly creates evil as he tries to fulfill his desires, for if he were able to perceive the inner lives of others, he would probably not act as he had. But we all must face the fruits of what we sow, and so Floyd Akerly comes to face in his latter years the man that he created. Lundin's plot in Albatross is of literary quality, and Albatross is a study in the nature of evil, deliberating on its origin and tracking its progress through human lives as it leaves a trail of destruction and suffering, moving from one generation to another, from one life into another, like a terrible infestation poisoning all that it touches.

Available on Amazon.

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