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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dust by Susan Berliner

Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
Pages: 205

From the cover: While unloading groceries in her Rock Haven condo, Karen McKay notices a strange swirl of red, green, and blue dust. The swirl follows her inside, lifts a porcelain ballerina from her wall unit, twirls it in the air, and throws it to the floor, shattering it into pieces.

The following evening, Karen hears her neighbor's dog barking loudly. Upon investigation, she finds her neighbor, Marion, at the bottom of the stairs—dead. At the top of the stairs, a colorful whirlpool of dust circles ominously.

Now the feisty librarian must consider the unthinkable: Could the dust be responsible for her neighbor's death and, if so, would it kill again? Karen turns to her ex-husband, Jerry, for help and together they bravely confront the mysterious dust. But will their daring actions cost them their lives?

Karen first see the dust while putting her groceries away. It's unique from anything the librarian has seen before and she's a research librarian, so she's seen a lot. After smashing her porcelain ballerina, she can feel the violence emanating from the swirling red, blue, and green dust.

She contacts her ex-husband, Jerry, because though they're divorced, he's still her best friend. She needs someone to believe her and see the dust too. Soon the mysterious dust is making itself known around the condos in Karen's neighbor.

Her elderly, but spry neighbor tumbles down her steps, a baseball player ends up on life support, and a young teenage girl is literally cut down while driving. All die from their injuries. And the suspicious dust is wreaking havoc where ever it goes, multiple injuries have occurred.

As Karen and Jerry try to unravel the malicious dust, they wonder where is has come from and how to kill it.

Dust by Susan Berliner is a first novel from this author. It was an incredibly quick read that kept the reader wondering about the dust. Is it intelligent? Where does the dust come from? There's a vehemence in this dust that fills the story and makes the pages easy to turn. I was intrigued by this deadly dust. Could it be toxic dust? Pollution driven? But as violent as the dust is, the most important questions of can it be killed and how to kill it are answered.

Dust is an excellent first attempt for this new author. I very much enjoyed this actioned scifi/mystery/thriller. There are elements of the paranormal in that the dust is out of this world, dangerous, and murderous. I was also intrigued by the relationship between Karen and Jerry. They divorced because of their differences, he's rock and roll, she's ballet. Karen wants to start a family and Jerry's not ready for that step, but neither one will be satisfied with another partner. Fighting the dust brings them closer together, making them realize that maybe they've made a mistake. I'll be watching for the next book from this author. If you'd like to find out more information about this author, please visit her website. Look out Stephen King, this lady may be on your tail!

I received this book from the author and publicist as part of Susan Berliner's Pump Up Your Book Tour. All the opinions expressed are my own.

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