Top positive review
A GRIPPING STORY FROM A REMARKABLE WRITER
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2018
As a reader, finding a new remarkable storyteller is a joy. “The Edge of Lost” is the second novel written by Kristina McMorris that I’ve read and I’m pleased she happened along. Her work is compelling and moving, and her research into background material is remarkable. Research is essential if I’m to enjoy historical fiction.
Shanley Keagan is a product of early 1900 Ireland. Life is not easy and early tragedies send him to the United States where, as a precocious 12-year old he begins making pennies in the dives and pubs of New York City. He works as a comedian and vaudevillian performer, getting quiet snickers and some limited notoriety. An Italian family takes him in to replace a son that died and he becomes a family member with the parents, their daughter, and son. He soon becomes Tommy Capello, being informally given a deceased boy’s name by the family.
A crime leader who appreciates his work in the club also informally adopts him. The bad guy also employs his pseudo brother, who rises to be a high-powered capo.
Family turmoil and unfortunate association with underworld figures eventually land Tommy on the Rock of Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay. He has settled in for his long sentence when he discovers an escape has been planned for him and, because he has befriended the young daughter of a brutal prison guard he decides to attempt it, taking her along. That’s it for disclosing the storyline.
McMorris does a masterful job of studying family relationships, the disturbing association of criminals, the culture of prison environment, and behavior of the upstanding when caught up in unsavory situations. The characters in her novel are realistic, complex, and driven by human behavior to which we can all relate. The pacing and continuity of her story never becomes too complex to weaken the reality. One must continue to read, ignoring other more pressing issues such as eating and sleeping.
I strongly recommend that you pick up her books, settle in for an entertaining read, and return to your normal living pattern when the reading is completed. You’ll have much to contemplate.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES