My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actual rating of 3.5
It’s raining hard and it’s pitch black outside. Betty and Will are at her father’s house in order to organise the estate for sale after his death. Will has never felt comfortable in this house, him and Earl (Betty’s father) never really saw eye to eye, but he tolerated him for Betty’s sake. So when Will sees headlights coming up the driveway, he is instantly put on alert. There’s no reason for anyone to be at the house besides them, and there’s no way that anyone could accidentally stumble across it unless they knew where the house was, something is not right. When he answers the door to one of Earl’s old friends, Bob Laurent, he’s still uneasy, but not sure why. When Betty can’t quite remember the man, he knows that there is something seriously not right about the whole situation. But what is he to do? Throw an old man out into the pouring rain at night? Even if he IS making lewd comments and inappropriate physical advances on Betty? There’s something not right about this whole situation, though Will could never dream of what that something is.
This was a decent story. It was one of those ones where you are in exactly the same boat as the characters you are reading about. They have no idea what’s going on, and neither do you. You know that SOMETHING is going to happen obviously, but you don’t know what. This was a major aspect in this story being a compelling page turner. I felt that I just HAD to know what was going to happen next, what the whole purpose of it was, and who the hell was Bob Laurent. Gifune does a fantastic job of setting the scene, he makes you FEEL the isolation of the characters, and the confusion they experience. The characters themselves were well written, there’s not a great amount of detail that goes into them, but we definitely get a sense for who they are as people.
The burning question in my mind while reading this story was WHO THE FREAKING HELL WAS BOB LAURENT? What did he want? Why did he just show up out of nowhere? Why the hell was he being creepy and being physically inappropriate with another man’s wife? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! Gifune did an amazing job at really making you feel as out of the loop as Will. When Betty decides that Bob is harmless and doesn’t believe a single thing that Will is trying to tell her, I got frustrated. How could she NOT feel creeped out by the man. Yes he’s old, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pervert. I found her to be incredibly naive at times. Though as the story unfolded everything started to make more and more sense.
I worked out part of what the go was, which was pretty easy to see after a while if you’re picking up on the cues laid down by the author. It wasn’t until the end where we’re hit with another big reveal that I was like “…Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh riiiighttt, so that’s a thing” If you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean, if you haven’t, well maybe you should to find out 🙂
I felt that the revelation at the end was well thought out, but executed a little poorly. When I read it, I sat for a second while my brain caught up and worked out what I was reading. Once I was pretty sure I had gotten it, I actually looked up other reviews of this book to definitely make sure that I was reading it right and had gone to the place that the author wanted me to. Even though this is a book that is obviously supposed to make you think about what you’re reading, implore you to pay attention to even the smallest details, and get to the conclusion on your own without being lead to it by the nose, I still feel like the ending could’ve been made a little more clear than what it was. As I said, I was pretty sure I had worked it out, but had to look up for confirmation in case I had totally missed the mark of the ending (which I hadn’t thankfully) which I thought sucked a bit. I just wanted even one line to come right out and say “BLAH! This thing that you’re thinking, yes it is correct”. I also want a little bit more backstory with Will. Why did this happen? Is there a reason behind it? I want to know more. Thought the author is probably leaving that part up to the readers imagination to make of it what we will.
All in all, this was a fast paced read, it was incredibly compelling, I just felt that it dropped the ball a bit when it came to wrapping it all up and the characters were a teeny bit flat. If you like horror, give it a go.