Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Recommendation From My Collection

Every book junkie loves finding a new author. About two years ago, while browsing our local mystery bookstore, I came across this enticing cover. Granted, all UK covers are creepy, and I always pick them up to see what they're about, but this is one that I bought - budgeting and all that! I buy with less inhibition these days.

Anyway, the store had all three of Rayne's current titles on the shelf - A Dark Dividing which probably had the creepiest cover of all - two little girls who bear a striking resemblance to the "Come play with us, Danny," girls from The Stand, and Tower of Silence which has a looming tower in a bruised purple and black background. I picked Roots. Upon finishing it, I gave my boyfriend explicit instructions to snatch up the other two as Christmas gifts! (He gave me a GC, just as good!)

In Roots of Evil, Lucy Trent and her family will never overcome the stain that her grandmother left on their name. Baroness Lucretia von Wolff was a silent film actress, later rumored to be a Nazi spy, who killed two men and then committed suicide at the famed Ashwood Film Studio in the early 1950s. Though the scandal has died down, it is all about to become fodder for a new thesis on the psychological aspects of the murders. The researcher has also uncovered a second mystery, that of the child Alraune. Then the researcher's body is found in the Ashwood Studio, the murder a chilling depiction of the final scene in Lucretia's most famous film, Alraune. 

The pseudonymous Rayne always tells her story in parts. Chapters cut from the current storyline to those of the past, weaving each part of the story together until the final revelation in the end. Family secrets and the urgent need to ensure that they remain unknown to others always play a huge role in her stories. There are other similarities in the books as well. Rayne uses a lot of the same sorts of settings - which is what drew me to the books in the first place - an abandoned asylum (Spider Light), a derelict prison (Death Chamber), an asylum still in working order (Tower of Silence) ... as I have said before, I am a sucker for certain atmospheric elements in books and Rayne plays on all of those for me. BTW, spreading out the reading will resolve any issues you have with these similarities. 

Probably the most shocking title I have read so far is last year's Spider Light, this is the first one I would put on par to my other favorite UK terror maven, Mo Hayder. Rayne is nowhere near as graphic as Hayder, so you have nothing to fear in that regard. I am currently reading her latest, The Death Chamber, and still have Tower of Silence, and Dark Dividing to hold me until next year's title. Have no fear when ordering these, Amazon has them all in stock for regular mass market and trade paperback prices. 

I have yet to uncover the true identity of this author - her bio says that she is a well-known horror author in the UK who created Rayne when she decided to break from the horror genre to write psychological suspense. I'm still working on unmasking the author's identity - so that I can read her other stuff!    

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Let me know when you unmask her. I will have to check the books out you already mentioned