Soul Stealer
by Kimberley Troutte, paranormal (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-473-6

Kimberley Troutte's Soul Stealer should have been released around Christmas. During that time, all that alcohol, sappy Christmas carols, and what not would have certainly put me in a more charitable mood for overly sentimental stories like this one.

Death has come for Sara Lane. Actually, it isn't death but Cain who is still being punished for his sins by being forced to grab a person's soul when that person's time is up. Sara actually tells Cain "pretty please" to give her two weeks more so that she can finish work on creating a homeless shelter. After all, in this story, the city is run by uncaring thugs.

Sara waited for about five minutes then crept over and put her ear against the door. She frowned. It didn't sound good.

The city council members seemed to care more about the city's image than taking care of people who really needed help.

Did they think ignoring the homeless would make them go away? She threw open the door, yelling, "These are human beings, not rats! No one deserves to live like that."

"Ms. Lane, you need to stay outside. This is a closed session!" a fat man in an expensive pinstriped suit said.

She shook her finger at him. "I'd like to see you outside. You'd never last a day living on the streets."

The fat man huffed, shifting his weight over his belt. "Someone get her out of here."

Two thugs came for her. They grabbed her roughly by her arms and started hauling her out of the building.

"Oh, no you don't! I'm not leaving. Hey, take your hands off me."

Her feet kicked the air three feet off the ground. She struggled and squirmed. The men squeezed harder. The front door was thrown open and they...

Yes, the author actually ends that last sentence in that manner.

This story is written in such a simplistic manner that I have to wonder just how young the target audience is supposed to be. The bad guys are fat and ugly, naturally. The heroine is so idealistic that she comes off like a thirteen-year old girl. She also speaks like a thirteen-year old, unfortunately. As for Cain, he's hilarious as this overwrought representation of a thirteen-year old girl's idea of a really bad boy. That scene where he starts screaming Sara's name after they have kissed has me laughing very hard, but I don't think the author has meant for that scene to be funny.

As I've said, this one should have been released around Christmas, especially after I've had a few glasses and am feeling really sorry for the poor little homeless drummer boys of the world. Unfortunately for Ms Troutte, I read this one in a state of sobriety, and... it has not been a pleasant experience, let's just say.

Rating: 53

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