Book Review: Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor

Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor

This is a quick read—131 pages written in verse with lots of white space on the page. The story itself is haunting, told from the point of view of Cassie, a ghost lingering around the site of her murder and awaiting the day she will find closure for her death (note:  don’t read the back blurb if you want to figure out the murderer on your own). She encounters another ghost, Birdie, this one from the 1940s, whose missing body is buried nearby. Through the narrative, Cassie learns about a ghost’s powers and limitations while forging a friendship with Birdie, recollecting important moments and people in her life.

Though I usually enjoy prose much more than poetry, the verse is effective in this book. It’s concise, poetic, and poignant. From a writer’s point of view, it’s a good study in condensing the emotion of a story into an engaging plot.

There isn’t much I can say about the book without spoiling plot for you, so I’ll leave you with the portion of the poem that was quoted on the inside book flap:

From my perch
I’m watching the dogs miss it
Over and over again.
If I could guide them
I would.

The body changes
This is a cold October.
Rot happens slowly
But it does

Its simplicity and eloquence paired with the actual topic make it a haunting read indeed, and one that is worth your time.


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