The sleepy little town of East Salem is startled into fear by the gruesome murder of a teenage girl (note: it’s probably safer to avoid small, East Coast towns called Salem: I’m started to think the five letters are shorthand for ‘and now, everybody dies!’). Criminal psychologist Dani Harris must find the killer before he strikes again. Meanwhile, former NFL player Tommy Gunderson is finding himself embroiled in a strange series of events that just might be connected to the killing. As Dani and Tommy join forces amidst an atmosphere of increasing paranoia and inexplicable encounters, the world takes another step toward the worst–

–Well, I can’t really tell you what, because you have to find out for yourself.

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The plot is intricate and deftly woven, managing neither to fall into the pit of campy horror nor to careen off the other side into hackneyed thriller. Yes, the story is centered around a murder, but Wiehl doesn’t force her readers to wallow knee-deep in gore and mutilations (unlike some other authors I could mention in this genre). The characters are likable and have lives of their own. And the book’s clean–no sex, no cursing–so it’s a bright spot in a genre usually loaded with both.

I’d highly recommend it–with one caveat: I said earlier that the book isn’t as graphic as it easily could have been, but don’t take that to mean there’s no violence. If books had movie ratings, I’d give this one a PG-13. We hear plenty about the nature of the girl’s death that’s just disturbing, there’s no other way to put it. But even so, it’s not as graphic as some of Ted Dekker’s later works or Kathy Reichs, definitely not as much as a James Patterson.

In accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, I am disclosing that I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My opinions are my own, and I am not required to write a positive review.

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5 responses »

  1. 4granted says:

    Great review. I agree–fantastic book. Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson are a winning team when it comes to writing suspense! I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it was somewhat creepy. It was a great reminder that evil does exist in this world, and is actively seeking to destroy what is good. I loved the main character, Dani, and genuinely felt scared for her when weird stuff would happen. All of the characters were very well developed and realistic because they didn’t always do what you’d expect. I also loved the little romance part of the book. By the way, the author has the first chapter available to read, for free, at her website: http://liswiehlbooks.com

  2. Sarah says:

    I love reading your blog, because you talk about books I had no idea existed. Even if I never read them (you know murder mysteries/thrillers aren’t exactly my genre), it’s kind of cool to know they’re out there.

  3. […] one of the three protagonists in this new work by Wiehl (check out my review for her previous book here). Cassidy’s two friends–FBI agent Nicole Hedges and federal prosecutor Allison […]

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