War can do terrible things to the hearts and minds of even the best of men, but for U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Tyrone Banks the senseless deaths and unnecessary violence in Vietnam have beaten him down and smothered the compassion and good that was once inside of him. Grief stricken and suicidal; the extreme guilt over the awful things he’s done pushes the young Marine beyond his breaking point until death feels like his only remaining option.
Rather than eating a bullet, Tyrone volunteers for Tunnel Rat duty hoping to finally find release but instead of his carefully planned honorable death, what the Marine finds down in the dark is a backdoor to Purgatory, a secret entrance into the afterlife where he’ll get one last chance to right all the terrible wrongs that constantly haunt him. It won’t be easy, though. Nothing worthwhile ever is. If Tyrone thought the things lurking in the jungle of Vietnam were bad, what’s waiting for him on the dark side of Heaven is worse.
Much, much worse…
I have been a fan of Gord Rollo since he first burst on to the scene with his critically acclaimed “Jigsaw” man. His books are always entertaining and frightening with great characters and story lines.
Gord shakes things up a little with his latest novel “The Dark Side Of Heaven”. Gord turns his storytelling prowess to the horrors of war, and a different and unique take on the afterlife.
The beginning of the book made me sweat and shake, I had to put it down for a few minutes to catch my breath. I am claustrophobic, and once you read it you will understand what I am talking about.
What really got me into the emotional side of horror when I was younger was Poe’s “The Premature Burial”. Before that story I didn’t realize the emotional power of good fiction or that I was claustrophobic. Gord was able to recreate that feeling all over again. It is one of dread, tightness in my chest and just pure fright of being trapped in a closed space…I loved every second of it.
This a story of what the horrors of war can do to a young man, how he copes with those horrors, the decisions he makes and how some of those decisions can haunt him forever.
This is also a story of redemption, making amends for the terrible things he has done, even if it costs him an eternity in Hell.
I really liked the storyline and Gord’s take on the afterlife. It was a unique perspective on what just might come after.
What really drew me into the story though was his main character Tyrone Banks. I really came to like him and care about what happened to him. His trials and tribulations, his hunt for redemption in the face of monstrous things breathed real life into the story.
Gord Rollo continues to improve as a writer with each book, “The Dark Side Of Heaven” firmly cements his place in the upper echelon of writers working in the dark literature field today.
Though I do have to warn you that the ending is a little emotional and I am not ashamed to admit that I teared up a bit.
Dark Regions Press continues to publish outstanding books and “The Dark Side Of Heaven” is outstanding and I highly recommend it.