Crystal Reign by Kelly Lyndon
Updated: May 6, 2018
Kelly Lyndon is a filmmaker, who has made two short features that have aired on Sky TV, and she has a full-length feature in the pipeline. She has also written books under a pseudonym for a New York publisher, but Crystal Reign is her first literary novel. Crystal Reign is a powerful and insightful novel, and Kelly Lyndon has picked a heavy-hitting subject matter – meth addiction.
Kelly decided she wanted to write about meth addiction after seeing firsthand the destruction meth addiction causes after a close friend of hers became addicted. This is what Kelly says: ‘New Zealand has one of the worst meth problems in the world, and I have been unfortunate enough to witness personally more than one person close to me fall prey to its evil clutches. This is the book I wanted to read but could not find, so I decided to write it myself. I was compelled to write because of what I have witnessed.’
I’m sure it was a difficult novel to write, but Kelly has written a page-turning read that delivers pace and action, characters to care about, and it offers a real – and sometimes shocking – insight into what it is like to have a meth addiction and the impact on a person’s family.
It follows the story of David Johnson who is living a comfortable middle-class life with his beautiful wife Chrissie and three lovely children, and they live in a stylish home, and he has a job he enjoys. But then David and Chrissie are invited to a friend’s New Year’s Eve Party, and she tries crystal meth for the first time, and she becomes addicted. David doesn’t realise the extent of things to begin with, but as her addiction takes hold she lies and cheats, and her entire life becomes focused on using meth, rather than her family. Eventually, her addiction costs them everything, including the family home.
Just when it seems it can’t get any worse, it does. Chrissie disappears without a trace, and David goes into the dark world of people with meth addiction looking for his wife. But as days turn into weeks and then months, he becomes more and more worried that she has been murdered.
Crystal Reign is an insight into a world I know nothing about, and it was shocking. It was shocking to see the effects of meth on a person – the manic mood swings, the violence, the change in a person’s personality, and the way Chrissie went from loving mother to someone obsessed with only one thing – her next drug fix. I think I was shocked at how easy it was for a person who had a normal, middle-class lifestyle with no previous mental issues to become addicted so easily.
It was also an insight into how it is for the family, and just how helpless they feel when someone is on meth. Parts of the book are quite horrific and confronting that this beautiful kind woman could lose her way so badly and be robbed of her usual vital personality. Kelly Lyndon has done a superb job creating an issue-based novel that is ultimately a story of love, and of a husband doing everything he can to fight for his family.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Remnant Press, RRP $34.99