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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Death Drives a Minivan is a dark romantic comedy written by J.L. Pete. Kerrigan had never really given much thought to the Grim Reaper, aside from the images of spectral hooded figures bearing scythes usually seen during the Halloween season. And he never would have expected the Grim Reaper to make an appearance at the North Grove Farmer’s Market where he sold organic produce. Kerrigan was really a pot grower by avocation, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to get the proper licensing to do it as a business, so for now, he made do with selling carrots, kale and pears at the market. So when a strangely attired man with long white hair, who oddly enough, reminded him of Steve Martin, addressed him by name and pointed a long finger at a silver minivan, Kerrigan had to seriously consider what was going on. Was he really doomed to end it all in a minivan? Sensing that no other options were available to him, Kerrigan resignedly followed the creepy man to his minivan. Obviously things would never be same.
J.L. Pete’s dark romantic comedy, Death Drives a Minivan, strips the ordinary out of the everyday world, including the local farmer’s market and neighborhood Costco store, and it shines an unnerving light at the strangeness lurking underneath. I watched spellbound as Kerrigan found himself at the center of his own bizarre Christmas Carol and wondered just how he was going to get himself out of it -- not his life, but, rather, his own unsettling predicament. Pete’s characters are quirky and original, and their individual stories are poignant and worth following. The plot is a Dickensian adventure through the absurd underpinnings of the everyday world. And yes, I’ll be keeping an eye out for silver minivans in future and opting to stay out of their driver’s focus. Death Drives a Minivan is highly recommended.