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Chapters 47 – end 8.20pm BST 13.09.2010

 The eventual Price paid to Salk is not quite what you would think.  His shadow of course haunts the final scene and he is not going away.  But we do learn that he is a broker of suffering rather than a trader of souls.  We don’t quite know what Price Sullivan will eventually pay, we are left to guess.

 Summary: quite a good ending really, all things told.

 Finally there is a tantalising opening sequence to Sokoloff’s next novel The Unseen.  And so we are dribbling for more!

BST 11.55am 12.09.2010

Chapters 21 – 46

 The shadow of the mysterious Salk continues to haunt over the entire novel.  Will Sullivan becomes increasing obsessed with finding Salk and who he is.  A rival for the post of Governor is associated with Salk, but we know its more than that.  Only God can heal appears as a refrain.  And Salk is not God, we think the opposite.  Sullivan’s behaviour deteriorates boiling over in frantic violence.  Sullivan’s wife mysteriously visits her childhood home of torment and brutality in a state of lethargy.  A Private Investigator is murdered in this house.  How is this associated with Salk?  Is there some Faustian pact in exchange for his daughter’s health?  Is this the Price?

Real Time Review of The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff

BST 11.05am 02.09.2010

Chapters 11 – 20

 Soon Will Sullivan finds the sepia tinged dead halls of the hospital, as the atmosphere piles on.  He stumbles into a huge indoor garden that may or may not exist.  He is told that he is sundowning from lack of sleep, a common diagnosis.  Sepulchral nuns haunt the corridors.  The man Salk says follow the red line to my office.  The hospital admin know of no-one called Salk.  Near dead patients recover miraculously overnight.  Will hurtles energetically from one confusion to the next.

I am thinking red is often associated with the devil?

Real Time Review of The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff

BST 8.25pm 29.08.2010

Chapters 3 – 10  

A holding pattern emerges.  The narrative is filtered through the main protagonist Will Sullivan.  He wanders the sprawling hospital complex hospital and realises how disassociated he is becoming.  His wife is a devoted mother spending all her time at their daughters bedside.  He has doubts about his candidacy for governor, at one point raging against his team in a haze.  There is also some time for back story as we learn how he and Jo his wife first met, and something of their tyrannical fathers.  But there is a tall dark figure constantly in the background, and I wonder what part is this man going to have in this story?  So there is some relief in chapter ten when this tall dark man from the chapel identifies himself as Salk to Sullivan with a hint that miracles can happen.  But I think this is a horror story and its not going to be so easy as this?

Real Time Review of The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff
4.40pm BST 28.08.2010

Prologue and chapters 1,  2

The grainy hospital corridor on the cover draws you in, the perspective of the darkness at the end draws you in…..

There are two pages of acknowledgements at the front which sets a really warm feeling in counterpoint to the cover. The acknowledgements are nice because each person or group of people receives a little individual comment
A politician on the campaign trail in America is chuffing away about how he wants to be better than his father, a previous governor of Massachusetts, a position which Will Sullivan is now running for.
The prologue is ethereal and slightly foreboding, there is a lot of detail of architectural design with deepest winter still outside winter in March which sets warning bells ringing immediately and a dark unobtrusive stalking presence.
Will Sullivan the would be governor has people creep in and out of rooms at him. An elderly man is described as ageless but once startlingly beautiful sets the scene for future devilment. But I am thinking should a man be described like this? Descriptions of beauty in humans are normally associated with women. I realise the author Sokoloff is female and may have different perceptions of beauty but it makes me feel uncomfortable when it probably wasn’t intended to. Before I have time to dwell on this the atmosphere plummets to zero as his daughter emerges from the bath.
There is a classical hanging feel at the end of the chapter egging you on for more. This could be Dickens?

So far so good.