The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman
Sunday, December 05, 2010
I'm suffering from a huge case of the Blahs this morning so decided to review the last book I read rather than write about that. This is an interesting book about Jack Durkin, the ninth generation of firstborn sons in his family who have daily weeded Lorne Field to purge it of Aukowies, bloodthirsty plants that could overrun the world in weeks if not attended to. I read the book because there was a favorable blurb on the back cover by Ken Bruen who is one of my favorite authors.
Jack strictly follows rules set forth in an old book and a contract which he family entered into over 200 years ago. He takes his job seriously because he, as he readily states to anyone listening, is saving the world every day. The problem is that people no longer believe him. And the $8,000 annual salary has not been raised since the contract was originally entered into. It was a huge sum then, is a pittance now. Jack's eldest son doesn't want to follow in his footsteps; his wife is tired of living poorly on his caretaker's salary; and the townspeople who subsidize him are increasingly skeptical of purported menaces that no one has ever seen.
There is humor, suspense, and an element of horror. Is Jack truly saving the world, being mankind's unsung hero, sacrificing a potential Major League baseball career, his health and happiness to honor the contract? Or is he merely the latest descendant of a family of superstitious loonies?
I'm not going to give more of the plot away but what started out as a simple story became full of twists and interesting turns. While I had my mind 98% made up about Jack, I was not sure how the book would end. There is a moral or two to this story but to discuss that would require spoiling the suspense.
out of 5.