Closer

by F.E. Feeley Jr

Closer - F.E. Feeley Jr
Editions:Audiobook
ISBN: B07JR3VXVH

Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they're just stories, right?

Hayden Moore's life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It's coming closer...

Reviews:Ulysses Dietz on Amazon wrote:

“The opposite of love is indifference, and hatred is the perversion of love.”

A picturesque town, an ancient curse, the power of love to heal and to destroy. These are the classic elements that F.E. Feeley Jr. weaves together into this complex ghost story. Maplewood, Vermont, is an archetypal New England town, whose violent destruction and rebirth has all but been forgotten by its citizens. Summer visitors, leaf-peepers, and winter skiers are the mainstay of Maplewood’s economy, and nobody remembers or cares about the centuries-old diaries shuttered away in the town library.

Hayden Moore comes to Maplewood seeking solace and forgetting. A hotshot young Boston prosecutor who lost his husband to violence, Hayden hopes he’ll find peace in the Vermont backwoods. To help him renovate the beautiful, long-empty house on the shore of Lake Veronica, Hayden hires Tommy Law, ex GI and former town bad boy. Tommy, always a loner, discovers that this beautiful, melancholy city man stirs something in him that he has never recognized before. Indeed, unbeknownst to anyone in town, Hayden’s arrival in Maplewood stirs up something deeper and more sinister in the unexplored waters of Lake Veronica.

What makes this book such a pleasure to read is that the two men at its center are not the only important players, not the only love story. Hayden and Tommy are the pivotal pair in the story—its triggers and, ultimately, its moral center—but there are other people around them who play critical roles, without whom the story would have far less weight. From Suzie, the outgoing manager of the local diner, the Maple Leaf, to Paul, the lonely, nerdy geologist, the cast of characters are all lovingly portrayed as living members of this harrowing tale of violence and redemption. Hayden, the outsider, is not alone; Amanda and Terri, his best friend and former boss, respectively, are brought into the narrative to underscore Hayden’s worth and to remind us of the life he lived and lost in the name of duty.

I particularly like the way Feeley deals with religion in “Closer.” Christianity is both the bogeyman and an ultimate source of good, as the author turns a gimlet eye to both the power of faith and its abuse, whether intentional or accidental. Feeley is something of a cynic in regard to religion and its misuse to control people; but he understands the power and healing that faith can bring. From the very start, the pre-Christian beliefs of Celtic Druidism swirl through the story, providing pointed opportunities to skewer the weaknesses as well as the strengths of any belief system.

F.E. Feeley Jr. brings a distinctively personal passion to his writing. He has a big heart and is not unfamiliar with suffering. He is a soldier, but he believes in magic. I suspect it is his personal duality that makes his story-telling so powerful. “Closer” seems to be the beginning of a series. I look forward to it.

A.T on Amazon wrote:

I’m not quite sure where to begin with this review because I don’t think my words will do it justice, but I’ve sat on it long enough now. I’ll lead with this, Closer is easily one of my favorite books of the year, maybe ever. I first read this author a couple years back and he’s been an auto buy for me ever since, especially his mysteries/paranormal books. And yet, despite having this novel on my device since it first released, I hadn’t gotten round to reading Closer until the audiobook release. Happily, that worked in my favor because I was able to simultaneously read and listen to an incredible performance of a fantastically spooky and gripping novel.

Although Closer follows an underlying romance between two characters as well as highlighting the love stories of a number of secondary characters, this book focuses more on the perplexing history and current happenings in a small lakeside town in Vermont. The omniscient multi point-of-view narrative flowed surprisingly well, and I was especially impressed with the narrator’s ability to differentiate the voices of characters so it was as easy to follow along with the audiobook as it was when I was reading. The haunting events left me with goosebumps regularly, which was only amplified by Mr. Bastian’s performance, making this a title that was next to impossible to step away from. I enjoyed all the players in Closer and loved how interwoven their stories became. I especially loved the main couple and their fast but steady romance, particularly the strength of them as individuals and the lengths they were willing to go to in order to protect their love. As I’ve come to expect from this author, the twists and sudden, surprising moments were unexpected and made me jump and my heart race. If you’re looking for something a bit different than the standard romance, Closer is an easy choice.

*Read and listened to title using Whispersync*

M Marshall on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review (An Ali Review)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they're just stories, right?

Hayden Moore's life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It's coming closer...

I recently toured The Stanley hotel (from Stephen King's the Shining) and it was so creepy and filled with awesome ghost stories. So I came home just itching to read spooky, scary tales and I'm happy to say this one fit the bill. I was just a few pages into it before I was pondering whether I should be reading with the lights off or not.

Hayden is looking for a fresh start after the death of his husband. He's hoping for a quiet and peaceful life. Unfortunately for him the idyllic town is far from peaceful. Hayden meets Tommy and the two of them, as well as a small band of characters, begin trying to figure what is going on in their town and around the lake.

It's a bit hard to talk about this book without spoilers. This is a paranormal mystery and I think it could be considered a horror story as well. It also focuses on the characters relationships with each other, both as friendships and as romances.

The author has a unique writing style and it fits well with the overall plot. I've read other books by this author and this one seemed to be written a bit differently. Maybe that was due to how the point of view was handled. (or it could be because I'm remembering wrong).

I really enjoyed this and I thought it was super unique. I'm always looking for stuff that's different and I thought this fit the bill well. It was a story I would definitely recommend.

Cover: I absolutely love the cover. I think it does a fantastic job setting the mood and overall feel for this book.


About the Author

F.E.Feeley Jr is a poet and the author of six published works - four full-length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and a good deal of poetry.

Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.


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