- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; 1 Original edition (October 4, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451234677
- ISBN-13: 978-0451234674
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 251 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cemetery Girl Paperback – October 4, 2011
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Praise for Cemetery Girl
"Trust me: you have never read a missing persons story like this one....A fast, mean head trip of a thriller that reads like a collaboration between Michael Connelly and the gothic fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, Cemetery Girl is one of those novels that you cannot shake after it's over. A winner on every level."—New York Times Bestselling Author Will Lavender
"Cemetery Girl grabbed me by the throat on page one and never let up. An intense, unrelenting powerhouse of a book, and the work of a master."—New York Times Bestselling Author John Lescroart
"An utterly compelling thriller…an absolutely riveting, absorbing read not to be missed."—New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Unger
"Cemetery Girl is a smasher. It twists and turns and never lets go."—New York Times Bestselling Author Jacquelyn Mitchard
“Disturbing, brilliantly engaging and a must-read for thriller fans.”—Suspense Magazine
"A tense and terrifying journey that brims with emotional authenticity. Bell manages not only to build suspense effectively but also tell a story that goes way beyond simple thrills."—Booklist
About the Author
David Bell is a bestselling and award-winning author whose work has been translated into six languages. He’s currently an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an MA in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a PhD in American literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. His novels include Bring Her Home, Since She Went Away, Somebody I Used to Know, The Forgotten Girl, Never Come Back, The Hiding Place, and Cemetery Girl.
Top customer reviews
The book is written in the first person by the main protagonist. Other character dialog is interspersed and identified with the person speaking. The writing is straight forward and not complex; it should be acceptable to a wide audience.
The main characters in the story are Tom Stuart, his wife Abby, Tom's half brother `Buster', twelve year old daughter Caitlin, and Frosty the family dog. As the story opens, we find that Caitlin had taken Frosty for a walk in the park near her home and has disappeared without a trace. Tom and Abby search unsuccessfully to find her and Abby has reached the end of her hope and apparently her marriage to Tom. Abby arranges for the symbolic death of her daughter by having a "cenotaph" erected at the local cemetery. Tom abhors the idea because he believes Caitlin will be found - and one day, some four years since her disappearance, Caitlin simply reappears, now reluctant to rejoin her family! This then begins the search for knowledge; a quest for meaning and understanding of what happened to Caitlin.
This novel is a dark story of a parent's worst nightmare - the unexplained disappearance of a daughter when she is only twelve. The characters in the story all seem to have some peculiar personality problems. Tom Stuart, a weak and pitiful victim of an abusive step father; Buster, Tom's half brother involved in nefarious dealings, including drugs and exposing himself; Abby, Tom's wife substituting the church for her lost child and abandoning her husband in the process as she becomes enchanted with the young church pastor; John Colter, a pedophile and psychological master mind; and Caitlin, a child who at twelve years old, possesses unnatural adolescent behavior, disdain for her family, and a mind incapable of perceiving evil. All and all a cast that confounds the reader with a hapless dichotomy between what is expected and what is revealed of these people. The author spins the tale with an ever growing urgency to "know what happened" to Caitlin. The effort becomes a compulsive quest, not only for Tom Stuart, but for the reader. Captivated to the end, the reader's quest evaporates to nothingness - no knowledge, no revelations, no answers; only a jaw dropping "is that it?" The story fizzles to an unrewarding conclusion.
The reader will encounter some inconsistencies in development of the plot as well. For instance, in the scene that has Tom and Caitlin leaving the family home in the car for a meeting with John Colter, Abby, coming in the other direction in her car, accosts Tom. When questioned, Abby says that Buster called her and told her what Tom was doing! However, Buster never knew what Tom planned or was doing so he couldn't have called and told Abby.
All and all I was somewhat disappointed by this composition mainly for the reasons I pointed out. The writing was generally good, and the story line had great potential that I just felt was unfulfilled. In the end, I feel that some readers will be attracted to the saga in spite of my reservations. Therefore, I recommend this novel with caution; I would rate it pleasurable-not memorable.
I liked the concept of this book, what happens when a child comes home, every parents dream. But the reality is not a happily ever after and how do you pick up the pieces?
The story was compelling but I didn't like most of the characters. Abby, having by counseled for years by the same pastor she is leaving her husband for, reminded me of the same brain-washing Caitlin went through. Tom seems more obsessed with finding out the sordid details of what happened to Caitlin than actually finding out who did it to her. Caitlin is only home a day before Tom and the police start grilling her. There were too many characters for my liking and way too much dialogue.
I can understand somethings a parent might do but Tom goes beyond and does something near the end that is completely ridiculous.
This novel had potential but went off in some strange tangents and needed some editing.
*Per my Goodreads review