I was delighted when Jerome Peterson contacted me recently and broke the news that he had another book published. His first book Thumb Flagging was a glorious tale about hitch hiking in the 70’s. I found it a nostalgic work that took me back to my youth.

I knew nothing about his new book other than the title The Haunting Of Andrew Sharpai until it arrived in my mail box. If I was expecting a continuation of Thumb Flagging I was way off base. This book is a very different animal. It is a book that has several facets to it. In part is a love story, in part it is a study of human nature and introspection, and in part it is a paranormal thriller. This might sound like a strange combination yet Jerome Peterson carries it off flawlessly.

We meet Andrew Sharpai in Las Vegas, he is cook by trade and a nomad by circumstance. His life seems to consist of a series of failed romantic interludes that all ended in such a devastating fashion that a change of city and state were called for.

Andrew has just ended a grueling shift, too tired to go home and change clothes he opts to sit in the hotel bar and find some  solace in the bottom of a glass. Instead, he encounters a strikingly good looking black lady LaRae DuFont, a much sought after Las Vegas dancer.

A love affair blossoms between this unlikely pair. I have to say that I was really impressed with the angles that Jerome Peterson explored in this segment of the book. Even though we live in the 21st century mixed race relationships are still a subject of discussion. My mother was by no means a racist, yet I can remember a conversation we had when I was about 15, “I don’t care who you marry, as long as it is a white girl”.

Andrew Sharpai’s happiness is short lived, a fatal car crash ends the relationship. Vegas now has too many bad memories and our nomadic hero moves once again.With no clear destination Andrew arrives in Pocatello, Idaho.

Lost in a sea of drunken depression he fritters away his remaining money. Driven by need rather than desire he takes a job way beneath his capabilities, a line cook at he local Denny’s.  It does however mark the beginnings of a new Andrew Sharpai.

His world changes once again when he encounters Iris Winkle. With facial scars she is well known in the area as a satanic witch. Is she? Or is this a case of people just creating a legend?

You might think that I have given away too much of the plot but I have not. I have merely summarized the first 30 pages! There are another 270 left for you explore!

The Haunting Of Andrew Sharpai is well worth reading. I am beginning to get the sense that Jerome Peterson is a name that is going to start appearing on those coveted best seller lists. He writes with authority and knowledge. This is not a novel that has just been thrown together, it has been skilfully crafted.

I am no expert on the use of language, but I do know when it is well done, and this book is a clear example. I will be interviewing Jerome in the near future and I have to say that I am looking forward to it.

You can order your copy of The Haunting Of Andrew Sharpai from Amazon by clicking the link above.

Simon Barrett

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