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Graveyard Games Paperback – June 11, 2010
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“Did you know that Joe was found hidden under a porch in the train station, covered up with boards?” Will puffed on his pipe again and the smell wafted toward Dusty. “Can bobcats do that, Mike? Even smart ones?"
Dusty didn’t hear any answer. Her own mind was racing.
"If we didn't have kids who like to play out there and explore the great unknown, we never would've missed old Joe. Probably would've even forgotten him. What do you think about that, Mike?"
“The papers didn’t mention that.” Mike sounded angry, and Dusty knew how he felt.
Will chuckled. “Come on, now. Buck Thompson is up for re-election this year, and we’ve got that new mall going in near the south end of town. Supposed to be as good as the Second Coming, right? Bad publicity, Mike. No one wants that, do they?”
Dusty was cold. She was beginning to feel sick again, and it was getting worse. Part of it was cramps, but most of it was just all the bells and whistles going off again.
"And what about Nicky Chandler?” Will asked.
“What about him?”
“You know where they found him?”
“Cemetery,” Mike replied, stating the obvious and taking another step down Cougar’s well-lit path.
“Uh huh.” He puffed on his pipe again. “But they might not have found him at all, you know, if the Clinton Grove boneyard didn’t have such a tidy caretaker.”
“What do you mean?” Mike sounded impatient now, growing tired of Cougar’s game.
“John Evans told Deputy Matt he found Nick while he was sweeping out one of the mausoleums,” Will said. “Those doors are shut tight, Mike. You know a bobcat who can open doors?”
"Well.” Mike cleared his throat. “Maybe Nick ran from it? Opened the mausoleum door himself, went in there to hide?”
“Could be,” Cougar agreed, puffing on his pipe again. “Sure could be.”
For some reason, Dusty found herself thinking about Shane.
It was quiet for a moment, and then Mike said, "Well, thanks for the ammo, Will. I appreciate it."
"No problem," Will replied. "Just remember— sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry."
"I get you," Mike said. "Take care, Will."
Will responded, "You take care, too—living all the way out there on Arcada road. Whatever it is, it's got an awful big appetite." --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
I thought this book had a great premise. It started off strong, I mean, the book opens at a funeral, so it is pretty obvious there is going to be a mystery. The shadowy nature of the storyline indicates there are some supernatural elements at work, and for the majority of the book, the storyline develops in a logical, solid manner. The last quarter of the book or so, however, seems a bit out of place. It becomes very sexually focused, with scenes that seem out of place and forced.
The character development was fair, but I felt like characters did things that did not make sense, or just disappeared out of the story for no reason. For example, in the beginning there was a big emphasis on Dusty and Nick's stepmother, Julia. But suddenly, she is no longer mentioned. So what was the point of that early focus. Similarly, I felt like the decisions Dusty makes in the last part of the book are not copacetic with how she is for the majority of the story. It is almost like two versions of this book were written, and portions were mixed and matched.
It is not a bad book. On the contrary, the premise of the story is really good. And most of the execution is pretty good as well. But the last part just seems off, and as a result the ending is not satisfying.
This book is from my personal library, and I wrote an honest review of my own volition.
Dusty is forced to come to terms with her past -- her brother's best friend, who in her eyes is an absolute jerk, and her family problems. Meanwhile, her home town is plagued with unexplainable deaths; including that of her brother Nick's. The victims appear to be partially eaten, and the best case scenario is a rogue bobcat. Or is it?
Dusty relies on her investigative skills, and a reconciliation with Shane, her brother's best friend, to figure out what's happening in town. Surprise, surprise... the explanation is beyond belief.
As a closet Barnabas Collins fan, I enjoyed this tramp off the beaten path. Light reading, a little gory here and there, but fun. Maybe not something to read just before bedtime, but a good way to kill an hour or two.
I was hooked, like seat-of-your-pants hooked, on the first 80% of this book. Then came a "big reveal" scene that for me just seemed to take a huge bite out of the suspense. It was too much information, I thought. And from that point on the ending felt a little rushed and I hate to say it (because I loved the beginning to much), a little cliché. I think leaving more to the reader's imagination until the very end might have helped.
That said, I would read another suspense book by this author because I felt the build up and the characters were very well done. As a whole, the plot was pretty solid. It was just the timing of the information reveal, I think, that hurt the ending. I'm a new fan, though.