by Marie Treanor, paranormal (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-532-0
The titular hero of Requiem For Rab is dead. Poor Robert "Rab" Connor. Not that his ex-wife Lilias "Lili" Graham, our heroine, is sympathetic to his plight at first, as when he first shows up in this story, he's dripping blood from a wound in his chest while she's getting ready to enjoy a nice shag with a hot new guy in her life.
She thinks at first that Rab must have sneaked into her place to sabotage her night of passion, but she soon realizes that Rab is actually dead, shot in the heart in Glasgow. He claims to be a ghost, but she realizes that he is solid to her touch. Still, it does seem like she's the only person who can see and hear him, so there may be some truth to his claims about being dead. And despite the fact that he's her ex, she still harbors some feelings for him. What is she going to do with him now that he's dead?
Normally I enjoy this author's stories because she always knows how to serve a story that is different from the usual fare out there. This one is no different. The premise may not be completely original, but Ms Treanor's treatment of the story is interesting, fresh, and fun. Lili has an engaging narrative voice and I like her as a first person narrator.
My problem here is with Rab. From all accounts, he was the quintessential nerd stereotype: he was so self-absorbed that he not only fails to communicate with the wife, he also didn't bother with things such keeping small promises he'd made like showing up on time for an appointment. Lili put her acting career on hold for him, so seeing him take her for granted has me thinking that whoever shot him dead can't be that bad a fellow. And even when he's dead, Rab can't leave Lili be, making her help him while sneering at her attempts to move on with life. And by the last page, Lili loves him even when Rab hadn't changed considerably as a person. She has always loved him! I feel like wanting to shoot that fellow again, maybe twice to ensure that he really stays dead this time around.
Can we rewind to the point that Rab gets fatally shot and then have his soul dragged straight down to hell so that he can't bother Lili anymore? That will be a much nicer story than this one, I suspect.
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