"The Doll" had a few rough moments, specifically with participle tenses - I caught a few cases where "have lost" should have been "had lost", or using "may be" for a past scenario (should be "might have been"). There was also a passage where a set of quotation marks was missing, which gave me a little confusion as to the number of tour guides. (Additionally, the Spanish spoken by the native guide had a few mistakes as well; "munecas" should have been "muñecas" with a tilde, and as a feminine plural, the correct modifier is "las", not "la". "Trajineras" is a plural noun; if referring to only one canoe/gondola, "trajinera" should have been used instead.) Overall, though, the mistakes were quite minor and didn't merit much more than a brief pause.
Now, my favorite part - onto the good! First of all, this author has a real talent for description, creating imagery that you can experience in all five senses. The descriptions are both complex and succint, a winning combination that really brings the page to life. Take the following passage for example:
He heaved his sunburnt bulk onto the rotting pier, the arthritic planks groaning and shivering in protest of his weight.
Or how about this?
Vines and weeds strangled the decomposing structure, dragging it into the earth, returning its elements back to nature.
Just superb! Great verb choice, sparse yet perfect adjectives, and a sense of movement throughout the entire passage that built dramatic tension.
Another thing I really liked about this work was the depiction of interpersonal relationships. The dynamic between mother and child was touching and true to life, and I could really empathize in the frustration between the mother and her ex - especially in scenes about parenting (not that I have children.)
Finally, I originally thought that the ending would be fairly easy to guess. I mean, it was pretty clear where the work was going, right? So I was pleasantly surprised by a twist ending that was both creepy and chilling!
All in all, I'd have to give this 4.2 stars. Great descriptions, a decent plot, in need of some more editing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)