This is one of those books that really sticks with you.
It centers on Kate, who has autoimmune diseases that keep her bedridden with intense pain, pumped full of drugs, and at the doctor's office to try out experimental treatments. Her supportive husband, Andrew, is doing his best, but is also pushed to the breaking point between caring for her and working a stressful job.
The book develops these characters and their relationship in such a brilliant way; rarely do characters come off the page so clearly as fully-formed people. You really feel Kate's struggles and her pain—her physical pain, which is described in excruciatingly specific detail, and the emotional pain she feels at constantly putting a burden on the people she loves. The book gets into each of their heads—they aren't perfect, but they are trying their best to show up for each other and make what they can out of each day.
The tension builds as the couple take their dog Button and try to escape to an idyllic lakeside cabin for a few weeks of relaxation. But that's when strange things begin to happen.
I loved the build-up of the story, getting to know the characters, and the strange little happenings that built suspense more than the reveal and the action toward the end. After such a suspenseful and well-built story, the gory action was a bit jarring, and seemed to be overkill for this type of narrative.
But in the end, I definitely recommend this book. It actually has something for everyone: beautifully written characters you will emotionally attach to, suspense, and crazy action and kills. I can't wait to read my next Hunter Shea!
My thanks to Flame Tree Press for sending this one to read and review.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.