THE INFLUENCE, Bentley Little, Cemetery Dance, 416 pages, $25, ISBN: 9781587674198, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
One thing about Bentley Little is that he can take an ordinary situation and start putting a little twist in it. The it begins to twist a little more and then a tweak or two and by that time he has you tied up and completely enthralled by the story that won’t let you go until he decides that he’s done with you and lets you go.
Ross Lowery is an engineer that has run into rough times in this slow economy and loses his job. When things were well, he helped out his family. Now that he needs their help, they all turn their backs on him. All except his cousin Lita and her husband Ross. They don’t have much but invite him to visit them in Magdalena, New Mexico.
Ross ends up moving in and helping out with the eggs and bees and all is well. That is until New Years Eve when the locals gather for a party and at the stroke of midnight; everybody empties their guns into the air. This year something falls out of the sky and things begin to change.
Suddenly everyone’s luck begins to change. The biggest rancher in the areas cattle begin dying with strange creatures crawling out of the carcass only to dissolve in the air; the beautician wins the Powerball jackpot; Lita and Ross’s eggs hatch into spiders and lizards; the local handyman strikes gold; and, Ross starts getting lots of job offers and gets lucky in love.
Everyone feels the effects on the creature that was shot down, but is not dead but changing into something else. But what is going on and how Ross and others must band together and stop it from affecting the rest of the area or even more.
Little has written an exciting novel that will definitely give you the shivers even if you have read him before and know what to expect. Another fine novel from Bentley Little and Cemetery Dance, pit it on your “Must Read” list.