Monday, 29 April 2013

Scare Me - Richard Jay Parker

“When did you last Google yourself?”

Wealthy businessman, Will Frost, gets woken in the middle of the night by an anonymous caller, asking him exactly this.

When Will goes online, he finds a website has been set up in his name, showing photographs of the inside of his home, along with photographs of six houses he’s never seen before.

In the first of these strange houses, a gruesome murder has already taken place.
Will is then told that his own family is in mortal danger.

The only way he can keep them safe is to visit each of the houses on the website in person – before the police discover what has happened there.

Seven houses.

Seven gruesome homicides.

Seven chances to save his daughter’s life…

Doesn't that mystery sound pretty exciting? I thought so. Also, pretty ridiculously original. Apparently, Parker's other thriller which I haven't gotten around to reading yet takes on chain emails. I really like that he is using new rules of the digital age to explore timeless genres. 

When I first started reading this book, I thought it was a sequel that I had missed the first book of. There were a lot of references to things that had happened before the events in the book and in the "you'll see as we go along" way but in a way that made me feel like I should have already known these things. That threw me off a bit while trying to get into the book but my interest in the overall mystery kept me going.

The plotting of the thriller and the unravelling mystery are masterfully done. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing all the way. The plot dances to and fro, changing expectations and throwing a surprise twist at you right at the end. I honestly could not figure out where it was going and was pleased with the ending which, although sudden, did seem to fit.

It was impressive to watch all the disparate plot threads that seemed a bit haphazard fit together in the last ten or so pages. I especially liked the small twist with Pope's story, a character I quite liked and was happy to watch gain some character development. 

Is this story incredibly deep? No. But is definitely a breath of fresh air in a genre that can just get SO BORING sometimes. I enjoyed it and would read more Parker in the future, for sure.

Scare Me comes out May 2 (this Thursday) from Angry Robot.

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