Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Edward C Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle
After losing his life partner to AIDS, Perry Chaplin struggles to move on. Work provides little solace; hiding his lifestyle from his unsupportive boss had always been stressful but after the loss of Bobby, working as an simple computer programmer holds little meaning for Perry. A co-worker suggests he get out and play the field, but Perry is reluctant. In his funk, Perry begins to notice odd happenings – pencils once broken mend themselves, rapid temperature changes occur in hotel rooms, and long lost items suddenly appear. Convinced he is slowly losing his grip on reality, Perry takes the plunge to meet someone new and get on with life.
Perry meets Marlin, a young good looking secretive man uninterested in a relationship but with whom Perry has several common interests including their enjoyment of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas. After sharing an engaging dinner, Perry begins to think perhaps there is life after Bobby and subsequently decides to spend the night with Marlin. However, more than just Bobby’s memory haunts Perry. When strange happenings grow in their intensity, Marlin and Perry both wonder what forces beyond this world have in store for them.
Bobby’s Trace is a beautifully engaging look at life after the loss of a loved one. In Marlin and Perry, Patterson creates characters struggling to find their way in the world – one who must find meaning in life after love lost, the other who has found meaning but is not accepted for who he is in the calling he has chosen to follow. Without giving away very satisfying plot twists, Patterson creates a supernatural haunting story of two lovers and religious intolerance. Readers of all genres will find something special in this novel.