Claire Cain survived a brutal beating in a Chicago alley and when her father is offered a job in a small town in another state, she hopes the move will help her heal. Arriving in Peculiar at the same time as an ice storm, right away Claire doesn’t feel safe. Her feelings are justified when she finds the body of a girl in the woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. Everyone’s quick to call it an accident but Claire’s journalistic instincts scream that there’s more to the story. Investigating though, puts her closer to realizing just how much she changed and how much damage she received that night in the alley.
This was a creepy read but also entertaining. There were so many twists that are hard to talk about in a review without giving away spoilers, and this is a book you definitely don’t want to be spoiled for. Everything from the setting to the writing to the name of the town help set the tone for a creepy, uneasy feeling while reading.
Main character Claire’s journey was really interesting. She had a lot of things to work through from her own attack and I felt for her, especially as things started getting really creepy. I did have suspicions as to who the murderer was and I was right, but that didn’t take away the tension of the mystery. The other characters all seemed to make good suspects at times even as they were befriending Claire.
Serena, the girl murdered at the beginning, was also an interesting character. She was where The Lovely Bones comparison from the description comes in as she was still present in her body after the murder. We only meet her after she died but she was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The writing and the tone matched really well. The descriptions of the murder, the body dump, the beating, were gruesome but not in an over the top way. If I had to compare the creepiness and the gruesomeness to something, I’d say one of the more creepy episodes of Supernatural meets Criminal Minds.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.