The Town of Jasper

It has been said that we will never know for sure what we would do in a given traumatic situation, or if we had to make an agonizing decision until we actually find ourselves in one of those situations. Fortunately, most of us never have to experience that trauma. The debut novel, The Town of Jasperby James Gianetti, forces us to consider those types of things when an epidemic of an undiagnosed affliction causes approximately half of the town’s residents to become unconscious or comatose for five years. Strangely, the victims do not age during that time.

Gianetti has knocked it out of the park with this compelling and  psychologically frightening tale of an illness the CDC can’t identify. The Town of Jasper is a gripping thriller that examines our fears, prejudices, even our basic characters, as we see one group of terrified people gather to exterminate the unconscious victims and their families who were caring for them. Then there are the Fillmore Whites, an ostracized group of genetically deformed albino people living just outside Jasper who attempt to help the grieving families. As is often the case, those most mistreated are the kindest and most caring people of all.
 
Against this background, the two lead characters, Detectives Jack Sutherland and Richard Morrisey, must face their own personal issues and fears. They  struggle simultaneously to solve the mystery of this affliction, but each in his own way. Former partners and close friends, neither knows the other is involved in this case. The chapters alternate between the time before “the incident” and the time after, but does this so smoothly the action is easily followed. 
 
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
 
  • I loved the book, but was very disappointed with the editing. Most of the numerous grammatical errors I blame on the editor. It also appears that computerized spell correction has struck again, changing words that shouldn’t have been changed such as changing “then” to “than” and “could” to “would”. Still, an attentive editor should have caught these things.
  • Incorrect public health information in the prologue — there is no such thing as an infectious illness. There are, however, infectious diseases.  The difference?  A disease changes the body in some way. Illnesses, on the other hand, do not make permanent changes in the body.
  • A lot of split infinitives and verb tense disagreement.

 

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