Book Blog -- TEN by Gretchen McNeil

Katherine Longshore Reply Thursday, November 01, 2012
In honor of Halloween, I've decided to talk about a scary book.  Now, many of you (and all of the Muses) know what a scaredy-cat I am.  I don't watch horror movies, even romantic vampires and werewolves creep me out and the first thing I ask about a book that has even the remotest chance of scare-factor is "Will it give me nightmares?"

Gretchen McNeil knows this.  I told her in person that I couldn't finish her debut novel, POSSESS, because it scared the pee out of me.  I stopped in the middle of the scene with the staring-eyed dolls and gave it to my friend Mona (who loves scary books).

So why would I pick up TEN?

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

I love a good murder mystery.  I loved And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  I loved Gosford Park.  I enjoy a super-cheesy episode of Midsomer Murders as much as the next person. A bunch of random people in a house with a body?  Super-mysterious clues?  Swinging bodies and startling revelations?  Good stuff.

So I've come to realize that it's not the thrill that scares me and gives me nightmares.  It's not bodies or death.  It's creepiness: crazed dolls, blood-sucking fiends, ritualistic ghost serial killers (There were scenes in THE DIVINERS I had to skip).  Veronica's cannibals scared me.  A little blood?  Not so much.

But I'm sleeping with the light on, just in case.

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