Top positive review
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Creepy, chillng... thought-provoking for geeks like me
on September 13, 2007
The wife and teenage son of a Seattle-area scientist are brutally murdered by a stranger claiming to be an FBI agent, and the scientist himself is nowhere to be found. A short time later, a nine-year-old girl named Madison disappears from Oregon's ethereal Cannon Beach while her inattentive mother, despondent over the deteriorating state of her marriage, dozes inside their beach cottage.
But the tale of The Intruders truly begins when Jack Whalen, a former cop with a troubled past who has of late become an accidental author of sorts, gets an out-of-the-blue visit from Gary Fisher, a high school classmate he hasn't seen in two decades, and one to whom he was only mildly acquainted -- making the seemingly impromptu reunion even more suspicious to a been-there-done-that kind of guy like Jack. Fisher, now a lawyer teetering precariously on the brink of something he himself is struggling to understand, has ostensibly come to ask for Jack's opinion on an estate case he's handling, owing to Jack's past in law enforcement and their connection as former classmates. But, as always, there's much more to the story.
Fisher's re-entrance into Jack's life is the catalyst for massive change, and the chaos that has been loitering outside the Whalen home for the last few years has finally found its way inside. Suddenly, everything Jack thinks he knows about his life is being challenged, especially in regard to his ad-executive wife, Amy, whose recent behavior has become increasingly peculiar.
Except for overuse of the words "diffident" and "irresolute" (a nitpick, to be sure), The Intruders succeeds as a thoroughly gripping and surprising creepy tale -- although, in the end, it left me with more questions than answers. I wanted to learn more about the Nine, a secret organization central to the tale's mystery, and was left feeling a bit confused about certain key points to the story (namely a character who goes unidentified until the end). Plus, I wasn't satisfied with the resolution between Jack and Amy, and thought it was a bit anticlimactic. And yet, that aside, The Intruders captivated me from the first horrifying chapter -- so much so, that I read it all in one night.
The Intruders is a tale that will appeal to readers who want an engrossing thriller with other-worldly tones. If you're geeky, as I am, then many of the ideas in the book will resonate with that part of you that believes -- or wants to -- in the things that go bump in the night. Just know that, whereas some books are a veritable feast for the mind that leave you filled to capacity for days, The Intruders is more like a frozen dinner: tasty, but not that satisfying.