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Review by
Chesya Burke
By Richard Wright
Publisher: Razorblade Press
List Price: $13.00

Reading CUCKOO, it's almost impossible not to ask yourself all of those "what if" questions you think about when you see something that is so strange and nerve-racking that it begs the answers: what if this really happened? What if it happened to me? What would I do?

The word derived from the Romans, who use to call an adulterer a "cuckoo." The Cuckoo bird was known to occupy the nest and feed upon the eggs of other birds; a thief.

Which of course brings us to the story at hand: CUCKOO begins with Greg Summers, a man who is unsatisfied with his mundane job and simple wife. After having an unencumbered, three-month affair, he comes home one morning to find that his wife doesn't know who he is. And worse, is terribly afraid of him. She is living out her fulfilled life and is married to another man - Gregg Summers.

After attacking the other Greg Summers, who is living in his home, with his wife, he finds that he is carrying another man's wallet and filofax - identical to the one his wife gave him on New Year's Eve.

He has now become Richard Jameson.

Throughout the novel you begin to sympathize with Greg as he searches to find out the truth and learns that perhaps his whole life has been a lie. The plot soon takes strange (although believable) and unexpected twists that leave you wondering what in the hell is going on. And you ask yourself, how is Greg going to get his ass out of this one alive?

On the run from a creature straight out of his nightmares; red sores, wet, sickly, white flesh -"a true monstrosity"- he fights to find out who he really is: Summers or Jameson.

Although at times it may seem that Greg Summers has overlooked some of the obvious avenues to explore for answers, he soon chases down others just as suitable, which leads to a more tangled web of conspiracy.

In the end, there are still several unanswered questions left and though it seems a tad rushed and contrived, especially considering the great detail in which it used to pull you into the plot, CUCKOO was eventually satisfying and surprising.

This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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