The Ridge by John Rector

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 Megan tried to tell her again that she was sorry, but before she could get the words out, the smell hit hard.

 Ripe and rotting.

It rolled off Rachel in waves and Megan took another step back, her eyes watering, trying to breathe.

This is one eerie novel. It’s a funny coincidence one of the character’s jokes about the town being very Stepford Wives. Forget monsters, the whole Stepford thing always freaked me out- maybe because the idea of men creating perfect wives, perfect children seems too realistic, too possible to ignore. What is going on here? Megan  and Tyler have moved to Willow Ridge for a fresh start, he with a promising career that she really doesn’t concern herself with much. Everything seems perfect, picket fence perfection! Would that she was as good as her neighbors.

Megan does something bad, very bad, irredeemably bad but it wasn’t her intention. Everything seems fine, is she losing her mind? Did she imagine everything or is there something far more sinister happening. She makes a friend, but how do you trust your neighbors when you don’t know if you can trust yourself. What are these strange haunting dreams of a young girl? Is she unraveling? Her husband certainly seems to think so. All she wants is to leave, to go back home to Chicago, even if she has to abandon Tyler.

Why can’t she leave? Why can’t she go back? Well, I can’t tell you that. The ending wasn’t at all what I thought was going to happen. It’s more horrible to me than I thought I had predicted, because perfection is scary. Perfection excludes all memories, even terrible ones you don’t want to remember. The ending made me sad. Darn you Rector! This is a creeper little mystery/thriller  This reminds me of episodes from Tales From The Darkside, the sort of horrors that start off as ordinary and then just have that injection of creepiness. The kind where you are really peeved about what happens to the character in the end, but that’s the point- it’s horrible! Quietly horrific.

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Thomas & Mercer

 

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