3 out of 4 stars
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The Lost Door, Marc Buhmann's debut novel, is a surprisingly refreshing thriller. In this tale Buhmann juxtaposes the broken lives of four very different characters as he weaves them together toward a common goal. A touch of the supernatural helps the novel along as it deals with loss, betrayal, and what it means to be dead, in disturbingly realistic fashion. Whether you're a fan of James Patterson's fast-paced style of suspense; the threat of underlying evil a la Stephen King; or the horror-fantasy creations of Clive Barker; The Lost Door has a little bit of something for everyone as it races to an ultimate collision of the four main characters.
The story centers around David, an elderly man still mourning the loss of his wife some twenty years after her death; Willem, whose troubled past has turned him into something of a recluse; Stavic (only his mother and doctor call him by his first name, “Nick”), a Sheriff's deputy who uses drugs to escape his sketchy past; and Claire, an alcoholic single mother who just can't seem to mend her broken heart. These four individuals have all been drawn to the small town of River Bend, Wisconsin, at different points in their lives, and they are each desperately needing a fresh start. What they don't know is that their pasts have inescapably intertwined their lives, and they will need each other to confront their personal demons and the evil that has shattered their worlds from the shadows.
The Lost Door is definitely a nice read. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing and character development from start to finish. It takes talent to rapidly move a story to its climax and still allow for the reader to become attached to the characters; Mr. Buhmann has most assuredly accomplished this task. Also, this book explores an otherworldly element that only adds to the intrigue and suspense. The Lost Door spends much of its time skirting around the border of the horror genre using rich supernatural undertones, but Buhmann keeps the narrative grounded and makes the unbelievable seem plausible; in my opinion, this is the mark of an extraordinary writer creating an extraordinary novel.
The only shortfall in this book is the editing. Honestly, the lack of professional editing barely takes away from the novel; however, a corrective once-over for errors in spelling and grammar could help to alleviate its unpolished feel. I must emphasize, though, that this point of contention in NO WAY made me enjoy my time with The Lost Door any less. I'm glad that the opportunity to read this book and become acquainted with Marc Buhmann's work fell into my lap.
I rate The Lost Door 3 out of 4 Stars. The rating confounds me, as I want to give this novel 4 Stars; nevertheless, I will remain adamant that the book needs editing. If it were edited, and subsequently sent to press, I wouldn't think twice about picking it up off the bookstore shelf and adding it to my home collection. If you love thrillers, from Jefferey Deaver to Dean Koontz, then Marc Buhmann deserves to be on your watchlist, and The Lost Door deserves your consideration next time you're ready to crack open a good book.
The Lost Door
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