Kory M. Shrum,
Dying for a Living
(Timberlane Press, 2014)

Some people complain from the time they open their eyes in the morning until they snuggle in the bed and close them at night. But if you ask them why they continue to dwell in misery, the expressions on their faces speak volumes. None of them want to leave God's green earth.

Kory Shrum delivers a story that's intriguing, mysterious, hopeful and of course a stretch of the imagination. Jesse, Shrum's main character, is a Necronite. She has the incredible ability to die for a living. She's in a position to give people an option to dying. Yes, that's right, for the right amount of coins she has the ability to replace someone that for whatever reason is about to meet their maker.

After replacing her clients who have in many instances died a very painful death, she decides that she's tired of scarring and abusing her body. It's seriously taking a toll on her. When Jesse turns to her so-called supervisor to tell him she wants out of the business, he shows no compassion. Instead, he meets her request with indifference and blackmail. If she quits, he threatens to go to the cops and tell them about a deep, dark secret she's keeping. Clearly he has the upper hand, because if he tells there's the real possibility that she'll be incarcerated for a very long time.

Reluctantly she continues to do what she's come to hate. On one of her assignments something goes very wrong and it ultimately confuses and terrifies her. Normally she's in control of her destiny, but the script has been flipped and the cat's being chased by the mouse. Plainly speaking, there's an attempt on her life -- and someone wants her to die permanently.

Shrum has skillfully lined up all the characters in this novel to take her readers on a journey that has its fair share of interesting twists and turns. This isn't one of those mundane who-dunnit reads and is a testament to the author because she made every page and action visible in her audience's mind.

If you are looking for a story that dares to be different, this is the book for you. Shrum is an excellent author with an imagination that will draw you in. I recommend this book and look forward to her future projects.

book review by
Renee Harmon

26 April 2014

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