City of Hate
Hal Scott created a world in his own mind. Visions came across him and experiences that he wanted with other people, namely women filled his dreams, hopes and daily life. Hal is delusional and the people we meet in this novel each have their own way of going about their day just surviving., No one of any substance, no one of any real means as Hal has not seen his friend Bob in days and finds him dead in his apartment but never informs anyone of his death. Closing his eyes to reality he imagines what might have happened to him, his relationship with Clara who is married to someone else, Gavin his boss having an affair with her and the end result finding himself in bed enjoying her wiles and fancies.
Hal has no idea where life is going and is friend Lemon is not exactly a sterling character, but he is the son of the late Lee Harvey Oswald and has his picture hanging on his wall. Hal goes to see Lemon and at the end of this scene the author leaves us wondering just what Lemon that has would change it all.
Each event that happens helps us understand the sadness, the hollowness, and the isolation that each character fees and the disconnect from reality at times. Hal is trying to find someone to care about but goes about having meaningless relationships with different women who are desperate for attention and some love. At the end of each incident he feels alone, angry with himself and thinks he’s losing his mind. Lemon is facing financial issues and his mother’s bookstore needs financing or she will lose it. The landlord has other plans for the property.
Rachel and Cynthia are dealing with issues. One her husband Bob is dead was he killed or was its suicide. Cynthia spends time cheating on Gavin and he does the same cheating on her. Her life is primarily filled with parties, allowing her children to get anything they want and overindulging herself and them.
Every move Hal makes he seems to scrutinize and overanalyze and then justifies his actions even though what he is thinking is often made up within his own visions and mind. Events with women, finding Bob and now dealing with the police who seem focuses on him and possibly think he killed his friend. I did not kill Bob he states over and over again but is anyone listening?
No one seems to have any direction and each character is going through life in fog or going through the motions until someone might awaken them to the harsh realities that many face when despair, failure and lack of acceptance occurs.
Hal works in a bank and the manager is anything but capable, but he deals with her. The incident with the rich patron lets you know that he is dangerous at times, will not allow someone to say crude things about a woman maned Maggie in his bank and gaining respect through using his fists.
The next scenes are graphic as we relive the final moments of Bob’s life when he receives an envelope with pictures of Gavin and Cynthia and must debate what to do about them. Does he tell his wife? Does he blackmail him? Instead he ponders his choices and takes the photos and does not tell anyone about them and decides to end his life.
Lemon is next as we learn more about him but first, he wants Hal to attend and exorcism with Ben, his friend who needs to be saved. This you must read and visualize for yourself. Maggie is next but what he relates is he imagining it or does it really happen including another with his wife Sam and her sister. Things get out of control and you wonder what Hal really experiences and what he has visions about in his own mind. Do each of these women really want him? What about the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic and yet finds himself in the liquor aisle of the market?
Dallas has been named the City of Hate after the death of JFK and the people here seem angry, lack focus and show no remorse or any empathy for each other or themselves yet Hal finds some consolation when boxing up Bob’s things and taking something to remember him by. Even his funeral seems cold and distant.
Hal tries to help himself, but he also tries to understand the relationships that he has with Maggie, Rachel, Lemon, and his search for the Colonel. The two officers that come to his house are fake and they take out their frustrations and anger on him and then Lemon arrives and they both must decide whether to give them what they want or die.
Lemon is the illegitimate son of Lee Harvey Oswald who was attached to the JBS. Did they carry out the assassination of JFK> They had an agenda and were passing literature the day Kennedy came to Dallas and they called him a traitor. In public they appeared one way but in the recesses behind the scenes they were about to make sure that Gavin Thompson would be the next Governor of Texas despite his character flaws and more.
Hal is relentless and would stop at nothing, but the Maddox Foundation owned by Thompson was behind all that happened and the document that Lemon gave him would prove what they knew from the start. Read pages 206-207 and decide the truth. Lemon writes, watch, keep your eyes opened but is he delusional or is she tell Hal how to take down those that destroyed his life?
The picture is of the Holy Grail of conspiracy theories that was handed to Hal and you decide if Ruby killed Oswald in a random act of violence due to his patriotism or something else?
Forgiveness and repentance are not easy for Hal as he spends time going to his parent’s house, Travis’s house, Rachel’s house and hopes to ask forgiveness for his sins. But when we learn the truth about Bob’s death, we learn just how far someone will go as we learn that Billy Jo Harris was hired to follow Hal and did not trust him. Added in she planted the pictures of Maggie and Gavin ruining more lives, Jealousies, deceptions, betrayals, hopelessness, despair, and the truth behind so many events but at the end Hal finds himself facing the most difficult choice of his life. A fire that takes down Conspiracy Books that hurts so many who needed it to survive. Mary would lose her store, the ghosts from all the conspiracies would light up the sky as the fire intensifies, and the true is revealed about those conspiracy theories.
Each character faces his/her own despair and feeling of emptiness. Lemon is in jail, but would he ever find peace? Hal finally realizes that he too is empty and filled with hollow hole within himself and Maggie is a shell of herself and he finally realizes he cannot save her and the world. With more questions and no answers and the Virgin Mother in front of him will Hal finally find HAL? Will he ever realize that he has so much to offer within his hollow feeling there’s a heart that just wants to be loved but will he ever leave and recover from the horrors he faced in THE CITY OF HATE? Author Timothy S. Miller takes us on a downhill ride through Dallas during a volatile time where so many had so little and so few even less. The story moves fast yet you pause at times to reflect on what the characters are feeling and you hear Hal’s voice and you hope that someday the City OF HATE will no longer be the CITY OF DESPERATION AND EMPTINESS?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews