I took a minor detour late last night from my current review book and finished up THE DEAD PLACE by Rebecca Drake, which has taken me over two weeks to read. Definitely not a way to amp up my reading speed, eh?
I'm not sure what it was about this one, but it bothered me. Actually, I do know...
Anyway, some background:
Artist Kate Corbin is slowly trying to reclaim her life after she was raped eight months ago. She's failing. Thinking that it would be a cure, she agrees to move to Wickfield where her husband, Ian, has taken on a new job as Dean of the College and Arts and Sciences at Wickfield University. This idyllic town may be what she needs to get back into the chore of living and being thankful that she survived a horrific assault. But the peaceful town is the scene of a young woman's disappearance in broad daylight. The townspeople are shocked and titillated by this recent news, some scoff at the idea of kidnapping in Wickfield -- surely, Lily Slocum simply ran away. But when a funeral picture of her is discovered at an antiques shop, and not long after, her body is found...people cannot ignore the fact that ugly things can happen in Wickfield.
And then another girl disappears...
I'm mixed on how I should feel about this one. On one level, I thought the suspense was pretty close to top-notch. But in the same breath, I felt that much of it was too revealing - especially the descriptive portions of what happens to each girl after she's kidnapped. Definitely not for the faint of heart, THE DEAD PLACE is telling and narrative of both a woman's personal hell of reclaiming her life, and proof positive that even perfect towns have their own little secrets. When Kate begins suspecting her neighbor of being more than just a little weird, people start to take notice.
THE DEAD PLACE is not romantic suspense, and I think that's where I should warn you that if you go into it thinking that, then you'll be disappointed. Maybe that's what harshed my mellow. It is straight up suspense, and a gritty one at that. Having said that -- I applaud the author for ending the book in one of the most chilling ways I've read in a long time. Is it the end? Is there a resolution? Well, yes, there is...but what happens next is what I want to know.