Why I read this book: I picked this up from the critique group I participate in… I had gotten pretty far in my percentage of reviews, and knew I wanted to pick up a novel to critique (knowing it would take more time). After all, my goal is to publish novels, and providing a critique for one would be useful.
Did I enjoy this book: Absolutely. I had a few pleasure readings going at the time. I ended up putting those down and got completely drawn into this. The characters were unique and real, the plot visceral, the setting… Not a place I’d want to live by the end of it. (;
What did I learn from this book: The author does a great job at introducing characters early and then tying them back in later. He creates a nice circle by the end that I thought was quite admirable. He also lays his clues in clever ways that seems innocuous when you seem them (IE: They don’t immediately scream CLUE) that could point to some of the truths you uncover as you read. It also showed me that when dealing with POV characters that don’t know what the reader knows, you have to tread carefully and think about how you describe things so that the reader doesn’t get confused, but at the same time you aren’t taking the reader out of the story (since the character wouldn’t know).
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The town of Pine Haven, North Carolina is a laid-back small town where everybody knows everybody else. Nothing big ever happens. Author Matt Kilby takes this quaint town and flips it upside down as a harrowing turn of events turns the place into a site of multiple murders… grisly murders with even more grisly implications.
Kilby’s world contains a cast of deep and believable characters driven by motives that speak to every one of us. As the murders continue to escalate, we learn more about the dark backstory of a prison inmate that is somehow tied to these twisted crimes. All the while, we are left wondering whether one psychiatrist can crack the secret before more people are pulled into this terrible web.
The action is intense. Every scene is memorable and fresh, and will leave you thirsty for more. As the mysteries start to come clear, you’ll get a sickening feeling you’ll know where it’s going, and the author will surprise you once again, taking you to places you just know you should have seen coming.
I look forward to re-reading this book and seeing how many items I missed that could have pointed to the gripping conclusion as Kilby kicks off this stunning series.