Thriller with a chilling atmosphere and lots of tension
That the authors can create rich and somewhat chilling atmosphere is proved by this book. At the very beginning, atmosphere is what sets the tone for the rest of the novel. Notice how rich and powerful the following imagery is:
"Behind the Virgin’s head, the cherubim dissolved into an orange haze. In the light of the burning votives, the whole room seemed to glow orange."
In the second case, the contrasting images only highlight the unconventional and tense nature of the book:
"She made the first cut above her knee, curving her wrist to angle the razor down toward the floor. She felt the acute sting over her thin skin. She made another cut higher up her leg, deep into the flesh of her thigh. Fred grimaced as the blood flowed freely. She wondered if she’d struck muscle.
The Immaculate Conception of the Escorial looked up to the heavens as if pretending not to notice. The choir sang: "Lord, make me a means of your peace…"
Oddly enough, I did not find most of the characters themselves to be anything stellar. The only character I liked was that of Judy (she was as though the odd one out, so to speak), the rest lacked depth. Thankfully the dialogs and the plot itself are the saving grace. I found the dialogs to be highly realistic. You can understand quite a bit about a character (even the ones lacking in obvious depth overall) by paying close attention to that character's dialogs:
Diana listened for a long time, then said, "Brigid, hold on a minute. I’m with my boyfriend." She listened for a moment, then looked at Tim. "It’s my sister," she told him. "I’ll take this in the kitchen."
Likewise, Travis's aggravation is brought out well by the following:
"Monica never knew it, but she had this really rare condition. Her uterus was, I don’t know, divided into two sections or something. There was this extra wall in there that women aren’t supposed to have. The doctor should have known about it before, but she didn’t. She let Monica go ahead and push anyway, even though she was bleeding so heavily. She was screaming from the pain, Darius. That was when they made me leave. I was freaking out, cursing at the doctor. I couldn’t think of what else to do. Monica was in so much pain and there was nothing else I could do to help her."
The story flows well and the looming tension is apparent throughout the book. It consists of the usual (as well as some unusual) plot twists and turns. You get both love triangle and death, but what is most surprising is that even when you think you know enough, you just can't predict the ending at all! Swear words are used sparingly. Recommended for fans of thrillers and erotica.
If only the chapter had unique names to them (rather than just numerals) it would have been a nice touch.
(reviewed the day of purchase)