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BROWSE BOOK REVIEWS:

"Red Hail" by Jamie Killen

Posted by Margaret Walker on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Under: Book Reviews


Galina, Arizona 1960. A town of economic hardship and racial tension experiences a mysterious storm of red hail, and out upon the mesa three children are spoken to by beings they can’t describe. Then follow four stages of an illness so inexplicable that even the local wildlife is affected.  But is the problem physical, spiritual, or something else entirely? Researchers in both 1960 and 2020 try to explain it as magic, curses, fungus, infections, illness, psychology, and finally aliens.But be careful of your hypothesis at this point; the conclusion is not what you might imagine.

Red Hail is a very interesting, well-planned and executed novel.  It paints a vivid social picture of a small American town sixty years ago and believably shows how the fear of an unknown phenomenon eventually provokes violence against its less-dominant voices. 

The only issue I had with an otherwise excellent work was the technique of swapping chapters alternately between 1960 and 2020. Does it increase dramatic tension or put the handbrake on? What drives the reader? I wanted to follow the two protagonists from 1960 and 2020 emotionally, and, with the time changes, I wasn’t quite able to do that. However, the plot is pushed along very well and, it may be that, because the chapters are short, other readers may feel that the momentum of the novel is not lost.

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Tags: jamie-killen  sci-fi  adventure  mystery  relationships 
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Nutrition

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Crime Thriller

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Spy Thriller

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Medical Thriller

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Drama

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Mystery

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Sci-fi

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Faith / Motivation

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Mystery Thriller

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Non-fiction

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Self-Help

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War / Action

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Self-Help/Spiritual

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Memoir

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Memoir

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****
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****
Spiritual

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****
Sci-fi/Mystery

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*****
War Fiction

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*****
Short Stories

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Drama

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****
Dark Comedy

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*****
Documentary

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Crime Drama

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***½
Sci-fi

Bottomless Cups by Joel Bresler
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Comedy

Non Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
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Non-Fiction

From Doctor to Guinea Pig by Angelique D.
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Biography

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Action Thriller

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Travel Memoir

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LGBTQ / Drama

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War Fiction

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****
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Paranormal / YA

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Sci Fi / Action

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****
Action / Adventure

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Drama

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Noir Fiction

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Short Stories

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****
Crime Thriller

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*****
Politics

World Football Domination
****
Sci-Fi

Sour Blood
***
Crime Thriller

Beware of the Thought Bubbles
*****
Children's

Beyond The Prison Of Beliefs
****
Science/Religion

Rocky Mountain Noir
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Comedy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Science Fiction

Foster Care To Millionaire
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Memoir

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Thriller

Secrets To Being Amazing
****
Self-Help

13 Dark Tales: Collection Two
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Short Stories

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Children's

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Drama

Myth Agent
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Fantasy

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***
Fantasy

No Quarter: Dominium
***
Adventure

A Trinity of Wicked Tales
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Horror


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Short Stories

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Crime Drama

Complete Poetry of Norman AJ Berisford
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Poetry

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Children's

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Documentary

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Fantasy

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Children's

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Thriller

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Non-Fiction

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Comedy-Drama

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Crime Thriller

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Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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Children's

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Psychology

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Short Stories

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Comedy

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War Memoir

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Comedy

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***
Young Adult

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***
Satire

Faithful Servants
****
Drama

Ghost Dog
***
Crime Adventure

Looper
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Drama

The Sinister Urge
**
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Self Improvement

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Comedy-Drama

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Fantasy

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****
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Action

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Poetry

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Real Life

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Short Stories

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Children's

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***
Fantasy

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Historical Fiction

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Poetry

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*****
Political Thriller

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***
Historical Fiction

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Drama

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*****
Business

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Historical Fiction

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Children's

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***
Historical Fiction

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***
Short Stories

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Poetry

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Short Stories

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***
Autobiography

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Poetry

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Poetry

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***
Suspense/Thriller

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Self-Help

Change of Chaos
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YA / Fantasy

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Thriller

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****
Short Stories

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Historical Fiction

God: Challenges From Philosphy and Science
****
Philosophy

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Role Play

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****
Comedy

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****
Action

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***
Sci-Fi Fantasy

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****
Sci-fi Fantasy

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Fantasy

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***
Self-Help

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Memoir

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***½
Sci-Fi / Fantasy

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***
Political / Non-fiction

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****
Comedy/Memoir

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****
Short Stories

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****
Crime / Mystery

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****
Comedy Drama

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****
Memoir / Self-Help

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Drama

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***
Comedy-Drama

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GUEST REVIEWER:
Profession: 
Casual teacher; Special Education. 
Qualifications:  
Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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