One of the cardinal rules for fantasy / paranormal fiction is (or should be) that outside the specific rules of this particular universe, characters, events, and situations should unfold in what the reader considers a logical and consistent manner. You can have flying cars, but don’t decide midstream that they won’t work under a full moon. Mean, nasty characters need a reason to be mean and nasty, and they can only be sweet and kind in one scene if they’re trying to fool someone.
Glen Krisch seems to have forgotten that in “Loss”, which is subtitled “A paranormal thriller”. Krisch has raised the question of whether the power of love can extend beyond the grave in a physical as well as an emotional sense, and there’s the potential for a strong story here. But it gets buried in a tangle of contradictory, incidental, unlikely, and downright silly plot noodles that ultimately weaken the story past believability.
Angie Chandler is behind the wheel when an automobile accident takes the life of her husband. As traumatic as this would be, the pain is exacerbated by the fact that the couple had been spatting at a family party immediately before the wreck. As she spirals into a black pool of alcohol, painkillers, and guilt, a series of inexplicable events begin to make her question her sanity.
Fine set-up, but it begins to fall apart almost from the moment of the accident itself and continues to disintegrate through the flashbacks that establish Angie and Paul’s meeting and marriage. We never know why her mother-in-law seems to have a particular dislike for her, or – when Paul’s backstory is revealed late in the book – how he came to hold his particular spot in the family. Worse, Krisch sets up a truly horrendous possibility with Angie’s alcohol abuse which is neither acknowledged nor addressed. I can’t discuss that any further without a major spoiler, but trust me – it’s the scariest part of the story. A number of plot threads are simply whacked off with the abrupt “and that was what happened and this is the end” conclusion.
With a major overhaul, this might make a good thriller. Without it, you’re better off skipping this disappointing piece.