The Drayton Chronicles by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Drayton Chronicles is a collection of novellas.
DRAYTON, THE TAKER
Blake Barnes commits suicide by freezing on Mt. Hood. As his life fades, he assumes Death has come to him in the form of a young man. In his last moments, he asks Death to find his family, to tell them he's sorry. Drayton honors this last request as he absorbs Blake Barnes' waning essence. He travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find his family. But saying sorry is not always as easy as the words imply. Drayton seeks to unravel the mess Blake Barnes has left behind and the predator he's unleashed on his family.
BEARING THE CROSS
Drayton finds Andrew Drummond dying on the roadside. He absorbs the last of his life, but not before Andrew demands vengeance. In those last moments, Drayton understands what Andrew desires. He sees all of his hardships, the crosses he has been forced bear. Drayton will find the source of his suffering. He will show his transgressor Andrew's pain. He will show him the depth and taste of true suffering.
SWIFT IS THE CURRENT
Drayton spares the life of elderly Ms. Ruth Current. She was supposed to die, but her life is unresolved. Drayton intends to put to rest the blight she and her grandchildren have set loose upon the world.
Father Gordon suffers a life-ending heart attack during mass, but not before he looks into Drayton's eyes. In them, he sees his own sins and asks for forgiveness. Drayton grants him the opportunity for redemption. But asking for forgiveness is the first step in a very difficult journey.
Dr. James Gallagher has a good life until a new patient hands him a card scrawled with the number 5. His new patient tells him that he will die of a stroke in five days. Dr. Gallagher doesn't take him seriously since this new patient claims to be thousands of years old. He considers committing him to a psychiatric ward until he begins to have visions.
He sees how Drayton has become what he is today.
This was an interesting read. I have read other books by Tony and really enjoyed them, so when the first book in this set was free on Amazon I jumped on it. I read it, loved it and then bought the set. I do have to say that the first and the last stories in this set were the best for me. The stories in between had some very dark content and to me were not really about Drayton as much as about the other characters. I probably would have enjoyed them more if they had focused more on Drayton. He was by all means the most interesting aspect of these Chronicles. One thing that I can say about all of the stories that I have read by Tony Bertauski, is that they are thought provoking and that they stay with me, long after I finish reading them.
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