Thrillers and suspense are the genres I have loved to read and write from childhood. So by now, I can kinda guess most of the suspense. AND become disappointed because I am missing that electrifying, hair-raising feel of, well, being thrilled and stunned.
And then I read this book and am mind blown by the suspense, by the revelations, and by the content.
The setting: A remote, isolated chapel converted into a lodge. With locked doors, secret rooms, an erratic supply of electricity, a strange, creepy housekeeper, and snow seem to be enclosing and cutting off any thoughts of escape.
Protagonists: A well-known screenplay writer who suffers from a rare condition- prosopagnosia: (face-blindness). He is accompanied by his distressed wife and their aging dog, Bob. They take this trip to address a floundering marriage. There is also a freaky caretaker. Add an egotistic, reclusive writer and a private eye to this melee, and you have an explosive setup.
So, I will take you through my feelings as a reader.
I let the writer play with my emotions—feelings of chill (not just from the snow), fear, anxiety, and the jitters. Then something is revealed, and I become complacent, thinking I know the culprit. I think to myself, ‘the author shouldn’t have revealed that’ and then WHAM! Something happens that tells me I am totally wrong. This time I am careful, and the author is subtle. I pat myself thinking I saw through the author’s devious methods, and then again, WHAM! She has actually played with our feelings taking us the route she had exactly planned for us.
I am left stunned, stumped, and stupified almost near the end when there is the revelation. I just stopped reading. It took me a while to understand what was happening. Once I am back on the same page as the author, I continue reading, but that is not the only twist. There are many more till the last page. Finally, you don’t know if any of the characters were what they pretended to be.
After I finished the book, I once again went back to speed read the book so that, as a writer, I could understand the techniques she used, learn how to hoodwink the readers into believing something that was not true.
Now, I am a big fan of Alice Feeney and am already reading another book by her. This time I am prepared and am not taking anything she says at face value. But I still hope she will floor me.
Buy the book here: