The Sunday Book Review – The Falling Away, TL Hines
Posted by Lisa Lickel on May 29, 2011
The Falling Away by TL Hines
Methodical Bizarre Noir
TL Hines makes the bizarre feel perfectly normal. Things are never what they seem with Hines, and The Falling Away continues in the sequence of stories in his odd world. I’m an eclectic reader and love to read books that don’t follow a particular genre. Although we’ll call Hines’ books Christian Suspense for shelving sake, the last book of his that I read, The Unseen, didn’t really fall into either category. At least the Falling Away has deeply spiritual elements, even if I didn’t always understand what he was getting at. I didn’t have to in order to enjoy Hine’s spare drama and compelling dialog.
In this story, Hines’s lead characters both have specific means of coping with a reality that makes little sense to them. They have been marked, or chosen, to make an impact on life, and unless they are handled carefully, they will often choose martyrdom without understanding why or fulfilling their mission. Dylan Runs Ahead is a young Iraqi vet, a Crow who has one foot in both the First Creator way and the white man’s world. He copes with internal and external pain of his physical war wounds and his agony over failing to protect his sister who was kidnapped. Welcomed nowhere upon his return from physical therapy, Dylan falls in with a drifter. When a side job running drugs goes wrong, Dylan runs ahead, ironically, to the one place he should never have gone, if his unseen protector Quinn, a young woman chosen for this task with secrets of her own, could have prevented it. When she rescues him, it’s too late to undo the damage the people who call themselves the Fallen
Away tried to prevent. Together they work to fulfill their mission anyway by using their gifts.
Told with the First Creator story of the Biiluke throughout (look at crowtribe.com for the tale), the Falling Away will leave you wondering what’s real and what’s fiction.
Hines makes me read every word in order to appreciate his stories. I like that; it’s a departure from being able to see everything coming in the couple of chapters and predicting the end. With Hines, I can get so wrapped up in his world I have to get up and look around once in a while to make sure I’m not dreaming. While I didn’t care for the tied thread with Dylan’s sister, it fit the oddness of the story. And that’s just what Hines did—create an odd story out of an unusual verse of the Bible. I really do appreciate that.
♦♦♦♦ Solid Four Reflections
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