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The Hiding Place of Thunder

by Keith Remer


In 36 years of teaching college literature classes, Iíve often been asked to detail what makes a fine piece of fiction. Iíve run through the gamut of typical "literary responses" and finally conclude with, "Whatever you enjoy reading." Each time Iím asked, or rather each time I finish a good read, I increase the list of "literary responses." Such is the case with Keith Remerís new title, The Hiding Place of Thunder.

Remer is well known for choosing titles that catch a potential buyerís eye. But thatís just the surface. This book is compelling, a typical requirement, but in a demanding sort of way. The reader canít put the book down. He is so drawn into the story and the lives of the characters that to stop reading, for even a few minutes, is unsettling. We, as readers, want to find out what happens to the characters—a must for suspenseful reading. But we want so much more to learn how the characters develop. We want to discover what the characters become, because we become so entranced with their psychological and moral development as we grow with them.

To say this is a moralistic tale or a story with a fabled ending is misleading. Above all, itís action and suspense at its finest. But itís real—a story that is set in a particular time, in a particular place, with very real dilemmas.

Remer has researched the place and time so as to bring alive the people and problems of a very real locale. Iím convinced that the reader, should he drive to Pushmataha County in Oklahoma, would see the Hansens and Grambs and Baker— and even Jacob— walking the streets today. He would recognize each of them and the town as well as if he had been raised there. There is not a tree or a barn unfamiliar to the reader. There is, in short, a comfort in the setting. But as comfortable as the setting may be, the conflicts and dilemmas are just as uncomfortable, because they strike at the very core of our being. There are no monsters, no creepy or crawly creatures that slither from the woods. Instead the monsters the reader finds are those that crawl out from his own psyche of mistrust, of prejudice, of fear, and of guilt. And how real Remer has made them!

So what makes for a good read? Somehow Remer has done it in the same fashion as Joseph Conrad, who discovers the very heart of darkness living within each of us. But Remer also provides the heart of hope.

The Book

Enlighten Press
Feb 2010
Suspense / Thriller
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The Reviewer

Chris Querry
Reviewed 2010
© 2010