The Owl Knows- Roy Owenby


This is a nicely put together work by a man familiar with his stories real setting. The script is never dull as it skips through its dramatic event-line in a very appealing timeless sort of Jack London style. It reads as though equally composed of a mix of journalistic feature, and fiction adventure genres. We get the graphic detail, creating vivid self-generated views without the words ever becoming more than quietly descriptive. There is nothing over gratuitous, pandering through unnecessary detail, to our base natures. I felt that I had already watched the film that has yet to be made as the pages scrolled by me, imagination building the landscape and its characters in intricate detail from Owenby’s talented direction.
I have no idea how far Macon County factual history is redrawn. It is impossible to tell which parts have absolutely no factual basis, and which are dripping with it. As the author lives amongst the community I suspect that real characters are well camouflaged even should any exist or have existed as single individuals. Perhaps long-time residents of close environs in Eastern North Carolina and the Chattanooga end of Tennessee are washed with strong speculations about what true events Owenby dwelt on. I certainly found every aspect of the plot to be eminently believable as simple fact. People do disappear whilst hiking, sometimes to never be found, and certainly some of these are the victims of evil individuals. Yet others will have succumbed to nothing less natural than the bite of a snake.
Two separate cases weave across each other and the cast of characters. There is plenty of material for at least two books here, not that the plots don’t work very well in the one. Even though the chapters jump back and forth a bit, I never lost my way.
I haven’t come across any other books by Owenby, which suggests to me a frustrating waste of talent. I hope there is at very least a lot more to come.
If only the bomb was a step too far beyond likelihood? I wish I could claim that to be the case. I certainly can’t. We all know that modern lives are lived too close to the loony fringe, ready at any moment to strike terror into ordinary lives. Whether in Tel Aviv or Asheville, drivers check your buses, before you take a break to read this book.
The owl knows would make for great cinema or TV drama, should the opportunity arise. I can still see the owl hovering over the camping sight, silent on the wing, waiting to stoop down on some small mammal, a killer to its core, but in its case perfectly justified in such actions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s