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Death Perception
Lee Allen Howard
Three First Names, 300 pages

Death Perception
Lee Allen Howard
Lee Allen Howard earned a BA in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also received an MA in Biblical Studies from CI School of Theology and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. He studied spiritualism, mediumship, and healing through the Morris Pratt Institute. He is a certified practitioner of Matrix Energetics, a consciousness technology that facilitates personal transformation.

Lee Allen Howard Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

Kennet Singleton is not your usual nineteen-year-old. Many would be out enjoying themselves at that age, out with their friends, chasing girls, and other things associated with teenage life. Not Kennet, his life with his invalid mother means he has to care for her most of the time, and the only break he gets is working at the local funeral home where he cremates the dearly departed. This type of teen would give some the impression that he is a young Norman Bates character, but if you dare to read on, you will find his intentions toward the dead and the living are more honourable.

After seeing the job advertised in the local paper, Kennet decided to go for the position at Grinolds Funeral Home for the only reason that he was fascinated by death. He was the sort of kid who others couldn't get on with at high school, and soon came to call him Doctor Death due to his morbid outlook on life. You would think from him having such a responsible job, that he would act accordingly, but even a lone job like this one can make anyone tire of it eventually. In the ensuing boredom, Kennet starts to toast marshmallows over the cremator, and one would say he kind of enjoys his job there as he is alone with no one to bother him. The dead don't annoy him or talk back like his father did when he worked for him in the past, but soon he finds out that the dead really do talk -- in their own way.

When he finds out that the cause of death is different to the written death certificate, he starts to worry that someone is knocking off their nearest and dearest, and isn't happy with it, seeing it as his sworn duty to find out who the killer or killers are. His method of finding out the cause of death of whoever he had been cremating at that time was to toast the marshmallows, and once he tasted them, he could feel the cause of their death, sometimes it was a broken neck, others it was different, but when he looked at the death certificates he found he was right every time, at least until now.

Kennet plods through his life, partly caring for his mother who he lives with at Costa's Personal Care Home and away from her at Grinolds. He sees his life in two different categories, a good job, but bad home as he lives around the elderly, mentally unstable and invalided. While others have seen him as nothing more than a creepy kid, he has had a lot of responsibility at a young age, and living in a home like Costas might start to drive someone so young crazy. He would like nothing more than to have a place of his own he could call home, but figures he might not get the chance to change his life. It might all be just a pipe dream, but it is one he keeps in his mind for later. As he isn't cut out for college, he thinks it might be a bad idea for him to move house now as it would be more difficult for him to find a steady job. For now, he has to play private investigator on his own as usual as the deaths of several family members have piqued his interest that they might be murder victims.

Death Perception is part gruesome, and can't get as dark as it does, yet it shows how humanity can stoop so low as to kill the elderly in such ways as are in this novel. Kennet sees the world in a different way to everyone else and has good cause to, but in this he get a chance to shine in a way he might not have done in a regular horror novel. This is enjoyable and dark -- real good read.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes likes to write for different genres, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance or even steampunk -- she doesn't mind as long as it's interesting. Some of her work has been featured in The British Fantasy Society, Fantasy Book Review and Active Anime.

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