Smart, suspenseful… A propulsive thriller…
Thorne’s engrossing suspense thriller mixes a hefty dose of darkness and intrigue with mystery to create a deliciously dark thriller. At nineteen, Raven is excited to start her four-year university program in Oklahoma, leaving her tortured relationship with her troubled mother behind. With the four years of free education for a degree that she is thoroughly invested in, Raven is on cloud nine. But things are not as they seem on the surface. Her fellow students are being blackmailed and coerced, and professor Roy seems to be hiding a sinister agenda. With the Oklahoma meteorology project going on full swing at the university, Raven has little time to pay attention to her surroundings. But she’s determined to uncover Roy’s sinister secret, unaware of the danger awaiting ahead. There are numerous characters that Thorne skillfully weaves into this fast-moving suspense tale, and their relentless inner struggles, particularly Raven, Christi, Tee, and Jerdy’s form a major part of the plot theme, providing more opportunity for conflict in the story. The pair of Raven and Christi shine all the way through. It’s intriguing to watch the girls evolve as the story moves forward. Whereas Raven is intelligent and genuinely charming, the tough-as-nails, candid Christi charms the reader with her wit and resilience. The enigmatic, ambitious Roy is a thoroughly despicable antagonist, who remains intriguing throughout the story. Jerdy and Lucius are able to hold on their own, and little Daphne is heartbreakingly real. Thorne’s writing is skilled and precise, and he manages an intricate plot without losing narrative force, successfully crafting a storyline that’s easy to follow. Raven’s journey to uncover Roy’s sinister plot unravels at a lightning fast speed, keeping the pages flying. A dash of the supernatural adds to the intrigue, and Thorne effortlessly incorporates themes of trauma, physical and psychological abuse, sexual violence, revenge, and redemption into the affecting account. The action-based narrative makes pages of the suspense-laden tale go by quickly, and a horde of quirky, speedy happenings keep the pages flying. The pace of the novel is brisk, the concept and the execution of the plot is well realized, and the high intrigue and tension are certain to keep readers invested to the end. With its flesh-and-blood, multilayered characters, tight pacing, and scrupulous detail, the novel makes for a page-turner. Readers will have a hard time putting it down.
By Todd Thorne
Pub date December 15, 2020
Price $7.99 (USD) Paperback, $3.98 Kindle edition