The Shape-Shifters – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
He withdrew deep into the recesses of his very being and got in touch with his actual, living soul, as he had learned, quite by accident, so many years ago. He withdrew from conscious thought and into the core of self, where the ego and the subconscious mind peacefully co-exist, at least when they are not at war. His mind became a warm black pit, swirling with stars, galaxies, and everything in the cosmos, and he subsided into it, floating on a blood-red sea, where he contemplated the three most abstract objects, the red box, the blue sphere and the four-sided yellow-golden pyramid. His mind focused on the most universal of all abstract forms until he could pick them up and feel the weight of them, touching the hardness, the smooth-polished surfaces… His head started to cave into his body. Proceeding slowly at first, the transformation accelerated. His feet withdrew and retracted up and out of his boots and into his pant legs. His hands disappeared up into his sleeves. His grimy clothes were seemingly half-empty now, writhing and twisting in and on and of themselves as if taking on a life of their own. A sock fell to the cold, wet floor beside his boots. A thin wisp of blue vapor rose up in curlicues and arabesque shapes in the dim light of the single forty-watt bulb. The clothing squirmed into a new shape on the chair, as the ropes fell limp and slack all around what remained of Jean Gagnon.
Jean Gagnon is released from prison after being found guilty of robbery. Throughout his whole imprisonment Jean declared his innocence, all to no avail. Needless to say, his feelings for the system and the people that convicted him are filled with anger and resentment. Now he is a free man and can start his life anew. Or can he?
Janet Herbert is a widow with two children, Jason almost nine and Ashley 3 1/2. Her husband Don was killed in a construction cave-in four years earlier, before Ashley was even born. The town of Scudmore had lost the mill and jobs were almost non-existent so her struggle to keep a roof over kid’s heads and food on the table was becoming almost impossible. Then she met Jean.
Jeff McCabe, Harry Morden, Slick Wilson and Ted Hiltz are hunting buddies. Their hunting isn’t always legal but it kept them going. Then they met Jean. After finding out that he had been convicted of stealing half a million dollars, they had an idea. They would abduct him and do whatever it took to make him tell them where the money was hidden. This would be easy to pull off and they would all be rich enough to get out of Scudmore for good. What they didn’t bargain for is the fact that Jean is a shape-shifter, and not the only one in town.
‘The Shape-Shifters’ will take you on a hilly ride as Jean tries to put his life back together. He has inherited an old mansion that will cost him a fortune in upkeep, which he doesn’t have. It seems his only way out will be to sell and move on. He just didn’t expect Janet to step into his life and totally change his life. He also didn’t expect the four hunting buddies to take him in at the same time a child had been abducted. With his history of prison and the accusations of mental illness, the whole town turns against him. He is accused of taking the child and murdering her. Jean’s future looks hopeless.
The Shape-Shifters is a book that I hope readers will enjoy. I also hope Louis will continue with future stories. I totally enjoyed this book.