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REVIEW: Red Hail, by Jamie Killen

Title: Red Hail

Author: Jamie Killen

Genre: Sci Fi

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Lesbian

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Pages: 356 Pages

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Professor Colin Ayres has spent years researching the strange story of Galina, Arizona, a sleepy border town ripped apart by violence and paranoia after the outbreak of a mysterious illness in 1960. Colin is certain the Galina Incident was simply a case of mass hysteria. But when his partner, Alonzo, starts exhibiting strange symptoms, Colin is shocked to realize they are the same as those that emerged in Galina decades ago.

As Alonzo’s condition worsens, Colin scrambles to piece together what really happened during that terrible summer in the past. He uncovers a story of murder, corruption, and fanaticism. The deeper he digs, the more he becomes convinced that what happened in Galina wasn’t mass hysteria after all.

When others start to develop the same eerie symptoms, Colin must confront the possibility that someone—or something—is driving the plague. Guided by rumors of a person who found a way to stop the plague in the sixties, Colin races to find answers before the disease destroys Alonzo and everyone else it touches.

The Review

“Red Hail” is an intriguing and eerie novel.  The plot teeters from the year of 1960 and 2020.  In the small town of Galina in 1960 a storm brings a strange red hail.  Is it the storm that causes strange things to happen:  naming, statuing, dancing and memory?  Only a few brave people of Galina were willing to search and try to solve this strange phenomena:  Anza Kearney, Dove McNally and Father Santiago.  

Now, in 2020 the phenomena of the so-called plague of Galina has come back.

Colin and Alonzo are just starting a new journey with their lives but it becomes filled with doubt when Alonzo is stricken with the strange occurrence of naming.  Once again, a few people are willing to search out the phenomena:  Colin, Alonzo and Sonia.

The phenomena brings them in touch with different generations, who were originally effected by the plagues and eventually the only thing to do is travel to Galina and find the truth.

Jamie Killen delivers a very solid, well written novel, that’s very edgy and suspenseful.  Every step of the way the novel throws in a twist of mystery.  As I continued to read, so many thoughts of just what can be causing the phenomena crossed my mind.  From: curses, extraterrestrials, government testing, and inbreeding, until the true reason was discovered.  “Red Hail” is very similar to what is actually going on in the world today.   No matter what this red hail seems to be it brings: racism, panic, fear, religious fanaticism, murder and hate to the community of Galina.  Some will use the strange phenomena to strengthen their hate and some will use it to hold power over the vulnerable.

Killen creates a wide range of characters that give a balanced perspective to the story.   Colin, Alonzo, Sonia, Anza, Dove and Father Santiago:  even though both trios are from different years they are determined and have a purpose to finding the truth.

Jamie Killen is a new author for me.   I was totally entertained and immersed in “Red Hail” and it was very difficult to put down.  “Red Hail” will be one of those stories that will be hard to forget!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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