The House Beneath the Damen Off-Ramp
A five-year-old boy witnesses the aftermath of a gruesome murder scene. Overwhelmed by the death of his mother and siblings, the partially deaf-mute lad wanders aimlessly around the West Side streets of Chicago. James Joseph Jefferson (aka JJ), a business entrepreneur with a bit of an eccentric personality, finds the distraught boy cowering by a dumpster. JJ gets his friends Donna, Manny, and Adele involved in caring for the little guy. Although they know the killer is at large, the friends are unaware that their lives are in jeopardy. William Claypool fashions an unnerving page-turner in his third release.
Claypool’s unique plot is replete with a colorful cast. Featuring a virtually silent main character, Claypool maximizes on the plight of a young child to develop his literary figures. JJ has money, but chooses to live on the street. Manny, wounded from a jockey accident, lives in a tank. Adele runs a bordello. And Donna, the most “with it” of the bunch, is JJ’s long-suffering girlfriend. A bit of a motley crew, the friends haven’t a clue to the impact a young deaf-mute child will make in their lives. Indeed, amid the tense plot, Claypool gradually yet meticulously creates his dynamic players.
Set over an 8-day period, Claypool’s third person narrative is nothing less than unsettling. Although the first several chapters have a plethora of trivial dialogue, which may give a slow moving and mundane appearance, there is a definite method to Claypool’s madness. Readers will experience the underpinning tension while JJ and his friends, oblivious to impending danger, shoot the breeze. Claypool keeps his narrative fluid by utilizing the above-mentioned literary tools while constantly alternating between un-hackneyed character scenes. Attention-grabbing from beginning to end, The House Beneath the Damen Off-Ramp is a perfect read for suspense and thriller enthusiasts.
|Page Count||238 pages|
|Publisher||Meadow Lane Press|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|