Misplaced Guilt and Man’s Attempt for Redemption
Riley Keep, former missionary, now a drunk, is begging on the streets and desperate to forget a past he lost in one far-flung act of wickedness. Then he hears the rumors. Miracles are happening in the picture postcard village of Dublin, Maine.
Riley isn’t the only Pilgrim searching for deliverance. There’s the old woman fleeing a horrific monster, the lonely wife tempted by forbidden desire, the impoverished lobsterman lured by tainted wealth, the young girl weighing life and death decisions, and the small town cop with a murder on his hands. But only Riley keep will learn if it’s true what people say: sometimes The Cure is much worse than the disease. Read more: http://www.atholdickson.com/what-others-are-saying/recommendations-for-the-cure/#ixzz2DP3uO170
Bio: Athol Dickson’s novels transcend description with a literary style that blends magical realism, suspense, and a strong sense of spirituality. Critics have favorably compared his work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly) and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times). His RIVER RISING is an Audie Award winner and three of his novels have won the Christy Award, including his most recent, LOST MISSION. Athol’s next novel, THE OPPOSITE OF ART, is about pride, passion, and death as a spiritual pursuit. Look for it in September, 2011. Athol lives with his wife in southern California.
“With skill and heart, Athol Dickson plumbs the depths of a man’s soul…. Not to be missed! –Angela Hunt, author of The Elevator
Library Journal: …well-written, intelligent follow-up to Dickson’s Christy Award-winning River Rising. An involving, suspenseful take on God’s transforming grace, it tackles a serious issue while providing an absorbing story. Recommended for all collections; especially relevant for readers struggling with their own addictions.
Crosswalk: …unpredictable and surprising, even though clues are sprinkled throughout the book. The final twist was chilling and, unfortunately, not unrealistic in today’s world. …the author does a wonderful job weaving in the deceit and the actions of those unrestrained by ethics and driven by the bottom line—a common scene in today’s headlines. …a powerful book, one that will remain on my bookshelf for a long time to come.
Publisher’s Weekly: Rich with local dialect and scenery…. Dickson’s approach is thought-provoking, and his prose beautifully evokes the taciturn spirit of the Mainers who people this novel….full of interesting ideas and well-developed characters.
Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com: Athol Dickson is one of Christian suspense’s best writers, and his latest spooky thriller, The Cure, continues his tradition of excellence…. Dickson adeptly handles his Maine setting, capturing the idioms and idiosyncrasies of its inhabitants. His characters are original and multifaceted, and sometimes perplexing….The plot is intriguing and fresh, and as he did in River Rising and They Shall See God, Dickson creates a series of twists and turns that continue surprising readers through the very last pages. What is more difficult to quantify is Dickson’s amazing ability to create a chilling atmosphere. Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca comes to mind; readers will feel the tension through the final paragraph. If Alfred Hitchcock was still alive, he’d be banging down Dickson’s door to make movies of his novels. (Think of what Hitchcock could do with the scenes of homeless people gradually moving in on the small Maine town!) This is a must-read novel for anyone interested in inspirational fiction. And even those who don’t usually read the genre will want to give it a look.
BlogCritics Magazine: Dickson’s skill in plotting was a highlight for me. In that department he demands the reader’s attention…. It makes for a satisfyingly complex tale with its fair share of surprises. Dickson’s writing was another of the book’s treats. He cuts straight to the action in efficient prose that never gets in the way of making the reader feel part of the scene. …a thoughtful, sometimes philosophical commentary on a range of themes from addiction to the human condition…. For a gripping, thoughtful, and worthwhile read, Athol Dickson’s The Cure is not to be missed.
Heather Hunt, absolutewrite.com: The Cure is a fascinating human interest tale in which the interconnectedness of the human race and our universal needs are revealed through the specific life stories of Riley, Hope, and Willa. Mysteries are set up and paid off with surprising yet satisfying revelations. Brutal violence is mixed with tender moments, and existential musings are offset by intense action sequences. I recommend The Cure for readers who love great writing that makes them think “what if”– and then rethink it again.
Bookshelf Review: The Cure is a fascinating tale fueled by hope and redemption. Here Dickson proves once again that he is not just a true wordsmith, but a master storyteller. The cleverly crafted narrative is laced with elements of suspense, mystery, and drama that effortlessly guide the reader along. …a beautiful story that grants encouragement and inspiration. Riley’s journey of discovery as he seeks the true cure for his life is breathtaking to say the least. This is redemptive storytelling at its best.
With a host of characters you won’t forget soon and some that you can even relate to, Athol Dickson has penned a novel of suspense, human weaknesses, greed, soul-searching, forgiveness, and reconciliation on several levels in The Cure.
Riley Keep, a one-time pastor and missionary, who has fallen into alcoholism; living on the street, begging for money for alcohol, food and shelter; all the while trying to forget his past failures; and dealing with his frantic need to fix things. Hope Keep who has kicked Riley out of the house because of his violent behaviors; her desire for another man though it clashes with her marital commitment; and her current role as Dublin’s Mayor. Bree Keep wanting a daddy’s wisdom, but finds herself falling into sin and becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock. Willa, the ever-helpful supervisor at the shelter in Dublin, Maine, who is on the run for her life. Mr. Lee Hanks of Hanks Pharmaceuticals, who is ready to produce The Cure, but at an unreachable cost to those who need it most.
The depth of the characters makes them as real as your own friends, family and acquaintances; the whys behind the personal failures emerge throughout the storyline; and the ever-longing desire to be loved and accepted permeates the novel. When rumors of a miracle is spread across the states, homeless men and women caught up in alcoholism cause an unfathomable influx into the city of Dublin, leaving the dying town to deal with the homeless and how to feed them without enabling them, one of whom is Riley.
Interwoven into the story are tidbits of information that give you clues as to the mystery of what has and is transpiring behind the main scene. These tidbits create suspense that keep you glued to the book, piecing together the mystery of what happened in Riley’s life that haunts him and keeps Willa running and hiding for her life. Deceit, betrayal, murder, lawsuits, destruction, and fear for their lives keep the intensity of the drama consistent from the first page to the last.
The author’s descriptive prose, such as pregnant clouds, virgin snow, sparkling ice, miserly sun, and steely waters adds a fresh depth to the story. I loved the way he wove these envisioning descriptions through this novel in his rich style of writing. It adds to the complexity of the plots that twist and turn constantly throughout.
Hope and redemption was always there for the asking, it’s just that Riley had to be willing to look for the real source of redemption, instead of relying on science for a ‘miracle cure.’ He learns that he cannot fix everything, but that there is One who can, but in a way that Riley hasn’t yet experienced. The powerful ending was not foreseen and is powerful!
One negative for me was the doctrinal issue about redemption through Communion. It’s actually in the Person we remember when taking Communion. I would also like the warning to recovering alcoholics placed at the end of the story instead of in the epilogue section. It’s vital.
This book can be used for other issues than just alcoholism. There is Godly wisdom that can be gleaned for any situation men or women find themselves in.
This book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received.