Sunday, February 15, 2009

Old Flames by Jack Ketchum

After reading some old Mystery Scene magazines, I cam across a review for Old Flames by Jack Ketchum. He was a new-to-me author but this book sounded like just my type of book... an obsessive woman tries to shatter the perfect suburban life, so I placed it on hold through my library. I started this late last night and finished it today. Two novellas are told in this story with Old Flames being the first one and Right to Life being the second one. I give Old Flames an A- and Right to Life a B.

Back cover:
Burned again. Men never treated Dora well. This latest cheated on her and dumped her. The last decent guy she knew was her old high school boyfriend, Jim. He'd said that he loved her. Maybe he did. So with the help of Flame Finders, Dora's found him again. Turns out he's married with two kids. But Dora isn't about to let that stand in her way...

Old Flames comes in at about 140 pages and while I normally shy away from novellas and short stories, this story was fantastic. It had suspense and even though the writing was different, it didn't bother me. There were a lot of short, choppy sentences but it just seemed to fit the book. There was even one part of the story that I was talking to the book. That rarely happens.

When I finished Old Flames, I really wasn't going to read Right to Life. I could tell from looking at the first pages that it dealed with abortion and I wasn't sure if I wanted to read about abortion. I am glad I ended up turning the pages, though, because it really wasn't about abortion but about some twisted people that kidnap a woman who happens to be going for an abortion appointment. The reason why I marked down the story a bit is the book was very graphic... especially in describing some of the rape scenes. Normally I am not too squeamish, but it was graphic. I wasn't forewarned and by the time some of it happened, I was already sucked into the story. That being said, I will be looking for more of Mr. Ketchum's other books. Stephen King stated that he was an excellent horror writer and I was expecting supernatural horror but it was all of the man-made kind of horror that is much more horrifying if you ask me.

Up next is Little Face by Sophie Hannah. This is another book that I saw in reading one of the Mystery Scene magazines. It is set in England, but with reading the books by Tana French I seem to be expanding my reading locations and traveling across the pond. I hope that it is good because Old Flames has really gotten my reading mojo back. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

J. Kaye said...

Hmmmm....I don't think I have heard of this author before. Thanks for the heads-up!