About to turn forty, her youthful dreams of becoming an actress abandoned, there's no doubt in her mind that suburban wife and mother-of-two Clare Taylor has settled. Read more...
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About to turn forty, her youthful dreams of becoming an actress abandoned, there's no doubt in her mind that suburban wife and mother-of-two Clare Taylor has settled. A wild week in Chicago may have shaken things up a bit, but as she turns her key in her Madison, Wisconsin home on the eve of Hallowe'en, she knows that what happened with her ex was nothing more than a distraction, that this is where her life is. Except it's all gone. The furniture gone, the house stripped, her husband Danny, her daughters, all gone; no message; no note, nothing. Outside in the dark, searching for a sign, she steps in one: the eviscerated body of the family dog. By dawn next morning, her supposedly mortgage-free home has been foreclosed against, one of Danny's childhood friends lies dead in her backyard, and Clare is caught up in a nightmare that began with her husband on Hallowe'en night, 1976. A nightmare that reaches its terrifying climax thirty-five years later.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-04-21
- Reviewer: Staff
As this slick but superficial thriller from Hughes (City of Lost Girls) begins, suburban housewife Clare Taylor returns to her Madison, Wis., home to find husband Danny Brogan and their daughters gone, and her beloved dog, Mr. Smith, savagely dismembered. By the time Clare brings the police back to her home, her slaughtered pet has vanished, replaced by something even more disquieting: the body of the man she knows only as a childhood friend of Danny’s, Gene Peterson. Stalked by determined killers, shocked by unexpected revelations about her family, Clare will have to unravel a mystery at whose core is Danny’s most closely guarded secret: that it was he who 35 years earlier set the fire that killed Clare’s parents and siblings. Hughes, who lives in Dublin, renders his Midwestern American setting with a specificity that somehow never quite becomes convincing. Though he has created an effective puzzle, rife with misdirection and unreliable protagonists, the work falls short. (June)