4 out of 4 stars
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Cyberbullying is just a more modern, technically involved form of bullying, one that is a major issue today. Along with sex trafficking, this is one of the topics highlighted in Revenge from the Grave by the author Susan T. Parker.
Alexis Ryan is a typical teen with good grades, many friends, and overall, a healthy family life. Much to her parents’ grief, however, one morning they found her dead, hanging from a beam in their garage. A quick police investigation uncovered that Alexis was a victim of cyberbullying from her boyfriend. The online shaming was so bad that she saw no other way out but to end her life.
This happened in 2005 when cyberbullying laws were non-existent. Twelve years later, someone still can’t let the past go and can’t let the death of Alexis be forgotten. Someone wants revenge, and they want it bad.
Many people can relate to the main premise of the book. Bullying is still prominent in all corners of the world, and few people get a chance to a payback. I guess that’s why I could sympathize with the shaoiste, the reclusive person who is pulling the strings from the shadows.
The book is a well-crafted mix of legal mystery, detective novel, revenge plot, and conspiracy thriller, with a dash of crime reporting. While we get a glimpse of how the main plot will unfold almost from the start, there are several subplots involving some intriguing characters that make the book a most enjoyable read. We have councilman Jeff Withers, a worthless, pompous dork who got his position through shady means; we meet Caitlin Rourke, news editor for a local newspaper, whose first meeting with Jeff ends in a broken nose and several expletives; we also read about the shaoiste, whose identity remains a secret throughout almost the entire book; and finally, we follow the detectives who try to unravel the complex threads in front of them.
At less than 300 pages, Revenge from the Grave is a relatively short book which I’ve read in one afternoon. It was a gripping thriller that kept me hooked on the story until the last page, one that ended on a note allowing for a possible sequel.
I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent story and found the main characters (especially Caitlin Rourke) intriguing. Nothing deterred her in running after the next possible Pulitzer-winning story, not even fear for her own life. In addition, I especially liked the way the revenge was carried out. It was quite ingenious and also different from the usual payback stories.
I didn’t find many grammatical errors in the book. Even if there were any, I was so engrossed in the tale that I forgot to read it with a detached eye searching for them.
Revenge from the Grave will appeal to anyone who loves quick beach-reads, especially suspenseful crime, mystery, and thriller novels. While some details about sexting were mentioned in the book, there was nothing explicit within the pages, so even teens and young adults who love the suspense genre will be able to read it without problems.
Overall, I give Revenge from the Grave 4 out of 4 stars, and I'm eagerly hoping for a possible sequel.
Revenge from the Grave
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