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I've been bouncing around between books for months now, trying to find something that captured my attention. This book did the trick. One of the other reviewers compared it to a campfire story, and I would agree that the base of this book had that type of base. But while that reviewer considered that a negative, I loved that aspect of it. Campfire stories have to cut right to those deeper situations that make people shiver. It wasn't a jump out of your seat, get nightmares scary by any means, but it made me think a lot during it and I was delighted at the imagery and the storytelling. Come on, a lighthouse in the middle of the woods? That image immediately makes you curious, and there are so many instances of those types of strong, lasting images throughout.
The reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is that I reserve 5 star books for those I absolutely cannot put down. The ones that make my guts wrench with some sort of emotion, either grief or excitement or tension, and this book was more of a fun, solid ride than a truly epic one. The author also gave some good characters that brought us through the book, and they did the job well, but I do love when relationships (meaning friendships, romances, trust, animosity) develop or change in big ways over the course of a novel, and that didn't happen in this one--the characters were more allies that happened to be working toward the same cause than ever developing any real feelings or connections to each other. But I would have given it far less stars if I thought this got in the way of the storytelling. I don't find books I love on a 5-star level very often, so take that rating keeping in mind that I may be particularly hard to please.
The narration was great. This audiobook actually dabbled in sound effects (slight echoing for over-the-telephone, spooky background music at supernatural parts). At first, I thought it was kind of cheesy, but I grew to like it and found it actually pretty effective at creating a mood.
This book is less of a lightning fast scream ride, and more of a thoughtful, get under your skin, character-developing campfire-esque tale. Though it's not quite a ghost story, it's a story for those who like that vibe. If you're not intrigued by the sample above, maybe this isn't for you.
All I can say is it's the first book in a while that I'm going to recommend to friends.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Ever since I read The Cypress House, I have been enjoying Koryta's books. This was by far the best of the bunch that I have downloaded. The story line is the strongest and most compelling, with Kimball now rating as my favorite of his heros (I have not read any of the Lincoln Perry books yet, only the stand-alone titles). He has conveyed a vivid sense of place and atmospere that allowed me to visualize the setting as well as the characters. The cats are a marvelous part of the whole. I tried predicting what turns the story would take, and although I never really had the outcome fully figured out, it wasn't because the author played unfair tricks - he just had better ideas. The last hour of the book had me mesmerized. I will say that if you just do not enjoy stories with a strong element of the supernatural, this may not be for you. I don't actively seek out ghost stories, but Koryta's ability to make you buy into the existence of other-worldly beings is masterful.
The reading by Robert Petkoff was excellent. This book was a real treat and highly recommended.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful