4 out of 4 stars
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Our narrator is Gilly. She is a terrified and remorseful lady who still regrets her actions performed over twenty-six years before her narration. Age didn't matter to her, as she was just twelve years old when she and her best friend Sally decided to keep a dead baby they found in the woods. The baby was buried by a tree at Gilly's home and more or less influenced the murder of two other children. Twenty-six years after the death of her mother, she has to cope with the horrors of the past and the scariness of her actions, however childish and naive they were at the time.
Indiana was the destination, and she, along with her husband Toshi, traveled there. There was no genuine comfort from anyone aside from her brothers and Sally, her old best friend. Toshi and Gilly had a strained relationship, and it was no surprise that they divorced soon. Twenty-six years without visiting Bryon did not change the hatred some people had for her in that town. Her life is threatened. Crime follows her to her hometown. Investigations and suspicions are heightened. The reader is in suspense.
In this lovely crime/horror thriller, hate and crime are prominent themes. It is a normal cliche that time heals all wounds, but the author of the book Dead Reckoning subtly begs to differ as she shows her readers that hate knows no time boundaries. Mr. Maloney maintained his hatred for Gilly and did not even express condolences to her late mother. Tim, on the other hand, was a different breed. His hatred knew no bounds at all. It is not surprising that he inflicted fatal wounds on his father at a young age; a man sets out for a life of crime from the onset.
The book is generally a thriller that makes good use of an old diary to travel to Gilly's past life. The crime was a glaring theme, as the plot revolved around it. From vandalizing a vehicle to committing murder, Dead Reckoning wasn't short of crime scenes. The place called the "hidey hole" became a symbol of death and murder. It held horrors unspeakable for Gilly and Sally. We can also safely say that it is almost impossible to completely assess a person based on his current attributes or character. Melody, for example, seemed to be a happy girl with wonderful behavior and a benevolent spirit. Jess, her brother, seemed to be the opposite. Fast-forward twenty-six years and the roles are reversed. Jess is now a policeman, and Melody is a lunatic of some sort.
The plot is firmly set in Bryon, Indiana, in the United States of America. It is safe to say that the funeral took place in 2010, as the diary recorded, referring to 1984 when Gilly was twelve years old. The book is generally enjoyable and recommended to those who love a dose of thrillers and want to be kept in a bit of suspense. I rate this book four out of four. Lea O'Harra did well to show her expertise. There wasn't anything to dislike in the book. I didn't come across any errors while reading. The book was exceptionally well edited.
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