by Brian W. Matthews
Dr. Brad Jordan has a new twelve year old patient, Doug Belle. He has been acting out and his mother isn’t much help – as a matter of fact, she seems to be making Doug’s issues worse instead of better. On the way home after their session, Brad is in a horrific car accident that he amazingly walks away from sore and bruised.
His best friend Frank, a cop, drops him off at home where he finds Toni, his wife upset. They have been trying for months to have a child and she has the evidence of another failure in her hand. The home pregnancy kit was negative again.
Despite his injuries, they decide to go to play cards with Frank and his wife Kerry for the evening to get their minds off of the accident and their inability to have a child. The evening was a disaster. An argument escalated to the point of no return so they head back home. The only bright spot of the visit was the discussion about a cute little tourist town, Emersville, were Kerry purchased a “creepy little doll”. She felt compelled to buy it, but there was something off about it.
Brad and Toni take a trip to Emersville the next day, picking up a creepy doll of their own. That is when the trouble started. Brad starts having disturbing dreams. Young Doug seems to be having more severe episodes, especially after Brad takes the doll to work (as a psychologist he uses toys, including dolls to get his patients to open up). Then Kerry turns up missing. Emersville has something to do with it, so Frank, Brad and Toni begin to peel back the layers of the town to find out exactly what is going on. Hopefully they will find Kerry and all live to tell the tale.
Matthew’s page turning thriller is a fast and sometimes hair-raising read. I loved the mystery and the intricate web the main characters became tangled in. All of the characters were well-written. I liked them, hated them or was scared of them. I am sure that was the intended reaction. Lucky for me I didn’t have any dolls laying around the house. I might have had to lock them in a closet or throw them away, just in case they got any ideas. It pays to be cautious when reading thrillers late into the night.
If you are a fan of Dean Koontz or Stephen King, you will love this book. This is Matthew’s third book, but the first one I’ve read. His previous novels are Forever Man and Revelation.
Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Random House Books that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.