BOOK REVIEW: Stirring the Sheets by Chad Lutzke

Emmett is a mortician who lost his wife of 49 years in a car accident last year. He is still overwhelmed by his grief and loneliness, when the corpse of a young woman is brought to the funeral home who bears a striking resemblance to his wife in her youth.

I've been hearing so much buzz around Chad Lutzke so I was psyched to finally read one of his books, but to be honest, from the books description I was more than a little concerned that this was going to be the kind of story that seeks to shock the shit out of you with taboos. Fortunately Lutzke shows a much more deft hand, and while it is by no means a comfortable read, the discomfort comes from the crushing grief and desperation Emmett experiences, rather than gross outs or shock value, and does so without being manipulative or exploitive. I think it's safe to say even after this one read I'm ready to joint the Lutzke fan club!

For such a short book, Stirring the Sheets is one where every word counts and has purpose. You feel Emmett's pain and struggle with his conscience, and Lutzke even manages to flesh out the absolutely wonderful side character that is Rosemary (she is precious, and I want to be her when I grow up). This is an expert take on the emotional side of horror, exploring grief, loneliness, and the struggle to let go and move on.