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We permanently renounced melancholy and nostalgia. We considered buying a pet refuge in Nyack, a B. In other words, we put in practice what the great novelist said about marriage though he never quite had the genome for it himself. We were happy. We really, really loved each other. We lived. Only it does. Which acknowledgment may finally be as close to absolute intimacy as any of us can stand. Anything closer to the absolute than this is either death or as good as death.

But in this wan millennial election year are we really going to say that this concept is worth a nickel or a nacho? Or, for that matter, ever was? Sally stood at the darkened thermal-glass window that gave upon the lightless Atlantic.

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Bean blanket around her shoulders. I came awake studying her inky back without realizing that it was her inky back, or that it was even her—wondering if I was hallucinating or was it an optical trick of waking in darkness, or had a stranger or a ghost entered my house for shelter and not noticed me snoozing. I realized it was Sally only when I thought of Wally and of the despondency his renewed life might promise me. But I feel exhilarated, too.

But, if not to her, then to who? Maybe you were glad to see him.

You always wondered where he went. She turned back to the cold window, which was probably making her cold. What about the being-married-to-you part? Does he get to do that again? Or do I get you as salvage? Her limp was pronounced because she was beat. She sat on the couch and leaned into me so I could smell the sweated, unwashed dankness of her hair.

Her coarse blanket prickled through my shirt. Why are you exhilarated? I was for years. I was when I first saw him. It was like meeting the President or some famous person. There was something exciting about that. I was further from the middle of events and had some perspective, so the heavier burden fell on me.

Oh, woe. Oh, why? She often took on this look when she was sitting at her desk composing a letter. The Catskills? The Lower Atlas? Am I supposed to be there, too, so I can get closer to my needs? It was as if we were both crying. The oddest things can be made to seem plausible if you insist they are. Remember Huxley on Einstein. Remember the Trojan Horse. Cleanse and heal, come back stronger. Come back to me.

Yes, there might be some crying, some shouting, some laughter, some hugging, some crisp slappings across the face. I suggested these things do happen that we invite the Wall down for a week or less. He could bivouac upstairs, set out all his toilet articles in the guest bath. I had nothing to fear from an ex-dead man. All was a calculated livery betokening casual, welcoming resolution and sunny invulnerability, depicting a life so happy, invested, entitled, entrenched, comprehended, spiritual, and history-laden that Wally would take a quick peek at the whole polished array, then hop back in the cab and start the long journey back to Mull.

Wally had on his green, worn-smooth corduroys—though it was already summery and he was sweltering—a faded, earthy-smelling, purple cardy over a green-and-ginger rugger shirt under which his hod-carrier belly tussled for freedom. He wore heavy gray woollen socks, no hat, and the previously mentioned smelly but not mud-spackled Barbour from his days nerdling about the gorse and rank topsoil of his adopted island paradise. He brought with him a bottle of twenty-year-old Glen Matoon and a box of Cohiba Robustos—for me. He was, this once-dead Wally, not the strangest concoction of Homo sapiens genetic material ever presented to me, but he was certainly the most complexly pathetic and ill-starred—a wide-eyed, positive-outlook type, ill at ease and conspicuous in his lumpy flesh, but also strangely serene and on occasion pompous and ribald, like the downstate S.

How he made it on Mull is a mystery. We shook hands limply, in the manner of a cold prisoner exchange on the Potsdam ridge. Wally was in my house in Sea-Clift for five uncomfortable days.

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I tried to go about my diurnal duties, spending time early to late in the office, where I had summer renters arriving, plumbers and carpenters and cleaning crews and yard-maintenance personnel to dispatch and lightly supervise. I sold a house on the bay side of Sea-Clift, took a bid on but failed to sell another. Each evening I went home, tired and ready for a rewarding cocktail and supper and an early-to-bed. Wally was most times in the living room reading Time magazine, or on the deck with my binoculars, or in the kitchen loading up a Dagwood, or outside having a disapproving look at the arborvitae and hydrangeas or staring up at the shorebirds.

Was it, I wondered, that everything was just too awkward, too revealing, too anxious-making, too upsetting, too embarrassing, too intimidating, too intrusive, or just too private to exhibit in front of me—the husband, the patient householder, the rate-payer, the sandwich-bread buyer?

And also now a stranger? He played the radio—not loud—tuned to an all-news station that occasionally made him chuckle. He took long forceful pisses into his toilet to let off the lager he drank at dinner. She had never before referred to me as magnificent, even in my best early days.

The other time, we were seated, facing across the circular glass-topped breakfast table. Wally was still upstairs sawing logs.

Die and Stay Dead

I was heading off to the Realty-Wise office. It was Day Three. They were probably Japanese. Something she noticed when she saw them may have offered solace. No grateful smile, no wink, no rum mouth pulled to signal no worries, no way, no dice. You need to do some nighttime sentry duty on your marriage bed.

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Condition red, Fred. Wally gave no evidence of thinking himself a rough intruder or a devious conniver after my happiness. In spite of his strange splintered, half North Shore-fatty, half earnest-blinking-Scots-gardener persona a veteran stage actor playing Falstaff with an Alabama accent , Wally did his seeming best to spend his days in a manner that did least harm. He always smiled when he saw me.

He occasionally wanted to talk about beach erosion.

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He advised me to put more aluminum sulfate on my hydrangeas to make the color last. Otherwise, he stayed out of sight much of the time. But what else was she supposed to do? She later finds Marie's jewels from her necklace in the fish tank and even finds Billy's dog floating in the water at the beach. She tries to tell Billy but sees his body lying on the couch and mistakes him for merely napping. Jenny tries making a few phone calls to find Marie and even tries calling Billy later, but receives no answer.

She then meets Mason, whom she draws suspicion towards due to his knowledge of the house, which are later confirmed by sundown when she finds a muddy footprint on the carpet that was attempted to be cleaned off. She runs back to Billy's house to get help from him only to find his body hidden in his garden shed. She runs back to the motel to call the police only to find Mason there waiting for her, dressed in a suit with presents for her. Mason cuts the phone wire while she calls the coastal guard service.

Mason then proceeds to taunt Jenny and whistles "Loving from a Distance" every now and then. He also tries to break into the house to no avail. Collings reveals to Jenny that Mason has a history of raping other women who never laid charges on him because of their "irate husbands". He then tells Jenny to make a run for the highway since Mason won't see her in the dark, but she stops when she finds Marie's body in the backyard and mourns over her.

Collings tries to strike a deal with Mason, who refuses, but Collings vows to kill Mason after he sets his partner who survived the gunshot on fire. It's nothing personal. I'm sure the author's a fine fellow. Kaufmann's first book in the series, "Dying Is My Business" was not written very well. There was too much repetition, as if the author didn't trust the reader to remember anything.

Once I know a character has amnesia cliche alert I don't need to be reminded every few paragraphs. The other thing that bothered I don't like to bash authors. The other thing that bothered me was the endless amount of open-ended questions. Does she really like me? Is the world going to end? Where do babies come from? I've seen this issue mostly in young adult books but it can happen anytime an author tries out first-person perspective. But, the first book had some interesting characters to explore, fresh ideas and settings, and a plot that was somewhat original.

While sharing and magnifying the flaws of the first book, this sequel does not share any of the positives.


The plot is one that's been used hundreds of times. It's the same one used in Men In Black 3, a character hides clues and makes themselves forget. Then they're forced to unravel their own clues. Moreover, Kaufmann presents this plot as a mystery when it's really not. I can only assume the main character is an absolute idiot for not figuring it all out earlier.

Anyone who's ever read a book can solve the mysteries by page fifty, but the character doesn't figure it out until page While the first book explored the characters in some depth, this one only mentions someone's past if it's directly influential to the plot. There's nothing important learned about our heroes or what makes them tick. If all of that wasn't enough, Kaufmann attempts to end the book on a cliffhanger.

Instead, it feels like he wrote a longer book and cut it in half in an attempt to turn it into two novels. I already felt like I'd sacrificed some brain cells by finishing the book and was furious to find out there wasn't even a payoff. I'd like to know how this all ends, but I don't think I can, in good conscience, read the next book in the series. Maybe I'll just find an in-depth synopsis to sate my curiousity but that's about it. If you want some good third person urban fantasy, try the Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey.

The Bobby Dollar novels by Tad Williams aren't better than this book also. Jun 19, Captain rated it liked it Shelves: horror , urban-fantasy , favorites. I waited almost a year for this book to come out and thankfully it did not disappoint! Action packed from the first packed from the first page to the last, Nicholas Kaufmann's second book in the Trent series kicks of with a rescue of a young necromancer named Calliope from a deranged infected named Biddie who is under the impression that something terrible is coming and the only way he can protect himself is by feeding women to an earth kraken.

After her rescue she confides in Trent that somethi I waited almost a year for this book to come out and thankfully it did not disappoint! After her rescue she confides in Trent that something terrible is about to happen and that someone is following her. What starts out as a murder investigation, turns into I'm still reeling from the reveal of Trent's identity on top of the apocolypic ending!!!

I'm still holding out hope that he is also the 7th guardian. I'm not gonna lie I was pretty frustrated with Trent is in book because of his shear gullableness. I mean it should have been obvious that something was up with Jordana from the start. I mean who has a past that all american and clean cut???

That being said I'm glad that there wasn't an annoying love triangle between Bethany, Trent, and Jordana. I really hate those sort of literary tropes. I really hope the third book comes out soon, I don't think I can wait another 6 months to a year!!! Jan 29, Evangelia rated it it was amazing.

I loved this book. It is a terrific sequel to Dying Is My Business. A great fun ride using New York as a backdrop for a fantastic world filled with gargoyles, vampires and a whole bunch of other creatures. The protagonist, Trent, is a fascinating character and the relationships are beautifully drawn. Not my typical read, but what a great page-turner it was. Can't wait for the third in the series to come out. Mar 01, Coby rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy.

I liked this one just as much as the first in the series "Dying is My Business". A lot of fun, great characters, interesting situations Thumbs up. An assumption I was making from the first book didn't come to pass and that's great. I like to not see big plot points be obvious. I also wish there were more of this series I could read.

I'll buy the next one when I can pre-order it. Jun 13, Sherilyn rated it really liked it. Wondering how long the wait will be to find out what happens next to Trent and Philip. I feel as though I have been left dangling on the precipice. All I can say is "bring on the gargoyles". Wonderfully entertaining read. Nov 24, Madelaine rated it it was amazing Shelves: 1-fiction.

Love, love, love. This is a great series, with a unique twist and fun characters. I originally borrowed a copy from my library, but - after two re-reads - opted to purchase both books from my bookstore. Feb 18, Carrie rated it it was amazing. More, please! Jan 30, Kirsten T rated it really liked it.

The second books in trilogies can be slow and chock full of filler. Not this one! In fact I think it's better paced and more interesting than the first. Can't wait for the next! Dec 25, Noah K. Another good book. I hate cliffhangers, and this book sets up a pretty big one.

I figured out more of the plot twists in this one, but there were still some surprises. Jun 29, Matt rated it really liked it. Great follow up!

Unlike a lot of other sequels, it didn't lose much, if anything, from the first book. Dec 20, Candice rated it really liked it Shelves: popsugar-reading-challenge.

Kenny McCormick

Apr 13, Robin rated it really liked it. Trent is so dumb, it makes my head hurt. Jan 02, Normalene rated it really liked it. Trent still doesn't know who he is but when he rescues a girl who calls him Lucas, he wonders if she might know something. The plot is very convoluted and at almost pages the center could have been tightened up a little. When Trent dies, the closest human life force to him is what his body uses to bring him back to life, sometimes to his advantage when it is a bad guy and sometimes not - when it is a friend.