My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot. DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU'RE HERE TO ADVERTISE, ESPECIALLY NON-BOOK PRODUCTS. I WILL BLOCK YOU!!!
by Jeremy Bates
This had me unsettled right away. Katrina is driving with her Boxer dog to a new city to start a new job. Rain is pouring down and when she passes a man hitchhiking, her humanitarianism outweighs her caution about being a woman alone and she offers him a lift. However, within minutes he makes her feel unsettled and having already lied about her destination, she pulls over and demands that he get out of the car.
The little white lie that she was turning off at the next stop seems harmless, but it will set in motion a series of lies that escalate until Katrina finds herself wrapped up in a horrific situation, one lie at a time.
The plot is extremely well done. The spreading of the web of lies and the complications that result was at a pace and done with an artistry that you could easily imagine actually happening, apart from a few events towards the end that felt a little rushed.
The one thing that wasn't realistic was Kat's responses that got her into so much trouble. Mr. Bates should have asked a few women how they would handle the situations because part of being female 101 is how to lie to creepy guys that make you uncomfortable.
Rule number 1: you NEVER cop to living someplace, real or not. Creepy guys are too inclined to follow you home. Whatever the truth is, you're going to someone else's house for an unpleasant reason and no, it wouldn't be okay for someone to go along with you. They might get shot/contaminated or whatever.
You sure as Hell don't mention what street you live on and no, you can't invite people because it's not your cabin and you're just moving out from a violent ex.
How hard is it? Sorry guys, blame the creeps in your midst. For us, it's survival.
If you've pressured a woman or even curb crawled to insist she give you her phone number, don't complain when it turns out to be the number for the local police. I had that one memorized by the time I was 11.
Again, towards the end a few of her actions were outright stupid. I don't want to give spoilers but if you've established someone is dangerous, you get as far away from them as you can and let the police handle it.
The suspense and characterisation were very well done and I will continue to count Jeremy Bates as a Modern Master of Horror, but he really does need to talk to some women about 'what would you do' situations.