on Aug. 22, 2014 :
I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for a review.
I have read many thrillers before by many different authors. I found the plot hard to believe - why would a family stand by and watch their son become 'mad'?
I also found the pace a bit too fast. The plot would have been better had the book been stretched out a little. I think the author needs to include more information on the abuse and Todd's madness.
Altogether, an okay read with the potential to be great.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on Aug. 20, 2014 :
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways and originated there.
I'm not going to detail the victim-blaming and romanticization of abuse that Regina Pacelli's Into the Arms of Madness: A Novel of Suspense contains. It's a common, awful trope in thrillers. Let's just say that it's there, that Pacelli seems to have little sympathy for cycles of abuse, and that the novel would be better if it didn't contain lines such as, "I had said something—done something—to set him off. I had no clue ... how to put things right" (Loc. 1717).
Now, on to the good: Into the Arms of Madness contains: a genuinely creepy would-be killer, suffering from a gory madness; relatives who willfully enable the madness; an isolated lakeside location; and, a basement dank and smelly. The writing, while not particularly polished, is an essay-like recitation of the facts, but the pace of the story still zips along nicely: A couple of scenes caused me to start. It's a short, quick read.
In the epilogue, Bre details her new relationship, showing that the cycle of abuse continues. If Pacelli had fleshed out more of the back story, detailing Todd's abusive behaviors and their effects on Bre, the novel might have felt less exploitative. Instead, signs of Todd's control and abuse are blithely shown to be side effects of his madness, and Bre is portrayed as a a trooper for loving him enough to stay. Written as it stands, this facile treatment of what clearly is domestic abuse overrides the rather enjoyable gore.
(Disclaimer: This review is based on a free .mobi ARC provided by the author during a LibraryThing member giveaway and in exchange for an honest review. The file was accessed via a Smashwords coupon. No further compensation was received, and my review was not influenced by the free copy. All opinions expressed in the review are mine alone.)
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on July 22, 2014 :
I received this book as part of a Member Giveaway from LibraryThing. I liked the writer's style, the pace was fast, and I read the book i one sitting as the suspense was gripping. The character of Todd was very interesting in the aspects of his madness. However, I like the other reviewers, find the pot unrealistic. Todd's madness is known to several different people and is allowed to continue, even though there are multiple opportunities to get him help. Also, the character of Bridget needs some help herself, which is never explored. Maybe if the book was longer, there plot and characters could be more developed. The author also needs to do some editing. I liked the authors style though, if the is some reworking of the plot, it could be a very good read.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Sep. 1, 2013 :
I received this book for free in exchange for providing an honest review.
This book was unique. While the premise is rather far fetched, isn't that what fantasy is supposed to be? The book had its moments of suspense and the ending was not as I expected. It is a good book for a rainy day at the cottage. I did enjoy the book but I doubt that I'll read it a second time.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Feb. 3, 2013 :
WOW, I do not know what to say. Very well done.
(reviewed 80 days after purchase)
on Jan. 10, 2013 :
I received a free copy of this book from the author, through LibraryThings; an honest review was requested.
“Into the Arms of Madness: A Novel of Suspense” by Regina Pacelli could not have been better named. She has developed a mad man unlike any other in fiction that I know of. Her character development is superb, bringing her characters to life. Even the whole mildly insane family rings true. This is a really potent story, and the suspense is almost enough to bring on an ulcer. This is a story you will want to add to your list of books to be read. It is a very well-written story, but also a very good tale.
“Into the Arms of Madness” begins with a pair of newlyweds heading to a cabin on a lake for their honeymoon. Almost immediately the bride sees a side of her new husband that he kept well hidden throughout their courtship. She also meets his rather strange and bizarre family for the first time… in their honeymoon cabin.
Unable, or unwilling, to fully believe or comprehend the evidence in front of her that things are not quite right, she tries telling herself she’s just tired from the wedding and the drive, and not really thinking straight; it’ll look better in the morning. But it doesn’t look better in the morning. If anything, it looks worse and worse as each hour passes into the next. She sees completely opposite sides of him that she has never before seen, yet feels compelled to assume she is somehow at fault for having said or done something that upset him. Continuing to profess her undying love for him, she literally puts her life in his hands.
This story climaxes in a drug-induced haze of unreality. I can’t say any more without spoiling it for you. But I WILL say this book will hold onto you until you finish reading it. Don’t expect to get anything else done until you finish this book. I recommend that you get it, but I suggest you not start reading it until you can set aside an appropriate block of time to finish it. I believe that after you finish reading it, you will be recommending it to all your friends. I also believe your friends will all thank you for the recommendation after THEY have finished reading it.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Dec. 23, 2012 :
I wasn't sure what to make of this book. The writing is proficient enough, if a little essay like in places, but I did find the plot difficult to believe.
The plot was very interesting. Woman meets charismatic and caring man, marries him and they are travelling to a remote cabin for their romantic honeymoon. Man isn't quite what he seems and the whole episode becomes a nightmare, involving his whole family and his ex wife to whom he was married for a mere week.
Husband is totally insane and it bothered me that his family just allowed him to carry on his own sweet way and not intervene. Why did they only tell Bre, the wife, of his insanity after they married? Why wasn't he medicated or even locked up for that matter?
The ending was a bit rushed, but I liked the little teaser at the conclusion. The story was quick to read and absorbing and I believe this writer has great promise. Just rein in the over the top plotlines!
This book was made available to me, by the author, for an honest review.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
on Nov. 24, 2012 :
Entertaining Psychological Thriller
Not your ordinary psychological thriller! Bridget and Todd have been dating for a year and a half, and Bridget thought that she knew him quite well by the time they got married. True, she didn’t know much about his family, but Todd was certainly successful, funny, kind and loving.
They set off to a remote, lakeside cabin for their honeymoon, and things get strange quickly, as Bridget discovers the truth about Todd and his family. Can she continue to support Todd for better or worse, and in sickness and health? She loves him deeply, and he adores her, but the secrets revealed may be too much for her to handle.
The author is a good story teller and the book kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. It’s a short book – it only took about three hours to read it. One thing I liked about it was that the story wasn’t predictable at all! It was a bit far-fetched, but that can certainly be the nature of fiction. The Kindle version was reasonably well edited with just a handful of errors, not enough to distract the reader from the story. An enjoyable book and not one to be read in bed in a remote cabin at night…
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)