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Ray Garton

Cemetery Dance Publications

US Signed Hardcover (Deluxe Limited Edition)

ISBN 1-881475-41-7

456 pages; $50.00

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel (c) 1999



Horror, Science Fiction

04-29-02, 12-13-02

Some writers delight with wonderful prose, other create elaborate visions, others, rock and roll action. Only a couple of writers can nail the reader's butt to a chair. Ray Garton is clearly one of those writers. 'Biofire', his latest novel, showcases Garton at his mainstream best. His characters come to life and the reader follows them relentlessly, hoping they will stay that way.

'Biofire' is essentially a romance, bringing together Emma Shaw, a rich married woman, and Niel McNolte, a writer in recovery from cocaine addiction. They're both on the run, he from the gangster who loaned him the money for his last big cocaine buy, she from her abusive husband who runs a biotech company. In the process, someone becomes something more than human, a weapon with a great deal of potential for generating wealth or destruction.

What lifts Garton's book beyond the typical thrill-packed roller-coaster ride is his ability to create vivid characters who demand the reader's interest, attention and sympathy. McNolte and his companions in the South Street Mission are all a cut above the typical stereotypes that populate such novels. Garton moves these characters across a stage as clearly seen in the reader's mind as the world outside their window. He also refuses send his characters into the basement when they should know not to go there. Each move every character makes seems the only chance left in a desperate situation. Gripping is where it begins.

'Biofire' is both a terrorizing thriller -- with excessive gore and sex -- and a nicely rendered romance, one that is readable without embarrassment or apology. This limited edition offers a wonderful "brains on fire" cover, sure to send the timid running away in haste, and is signed by author. If it is offered in paperback, it is the kind of novel that could very well become a bestseller, thus making this edition an excellent investment at a price that is not overly high.