A smart, rollicking tale that delivers on all fronts…
Lessard blends otherworldly with human drama in his electric debut. Tommy McConnell, inmate #176543, is new at the Providence State Penitentiary and is just learning the harrowing ways of life there. When he hears rumors about the enigmatic 130-year-old Henry Heck locked away in the depths of the penitentiary since the Great War, he knows he must investigate the matter, unaware he will require the assistance of not only the living but also the dead. Lessard ably manages the many threads, never slowing the momentum of his propulsive plot. The characters are fully fleshed-out and three-dimensional, particularly Tommy, who is a delight to be with. Though the narrative runs a little longer than necessary, Lessard is adept at showing the ways Henry copes with the pain of loneliness and despair. The real strength of the novel, however, lies in its sharp dialogue, authentic portrayal of the grim bleakness that stretches for beyond the four walls of the prison, and fascinating details of inmate life. An electrifying outing with paranormal trappings.
The Forever Young Prisoner
Putnam Heights Publishing
Pub date March 27, 2023
Price $15.99 (USD) Paperback, $7.99 Kindle