Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Perfect Summer Chiller

Personally, I think any time is the perfect time for a scary read: Rainy weather, snowy weather, beach weather, and crisp fall weather, too. Really, if it's a great read, it'll creep the hell out of you even in the middle of a sunny afternoon and that's what makes Alexandra Sokoloff's latest, The Unseen, tops on my recommended reading list for this year. 

I read this book yesterday (writing this Monday evening). Yep, that's what I did on Sunday, with just a break to play some Fear and to go to the gym. And, honestly, even when I was away from the book, all I could think about was getting back to it! You got to love it when that happens. 

In The Unseen, Dr. Laurel MacDonald has picked up and relocated to North Carolina after a dream led to her discovery of her fiancee's infidelity, and she's accepted a tenure track job with Duke University in their psychology department. Though Laurel has lived her entire life in California, her family has a history in North Carolina and with Duke, a history that is mostly unknown to Laurel. In her first weeks at her new job, Laurel becomes fascinated with the Rhine papers, 700 boxes dating back to the university's infamous parapsychology department that was in operation from 1927 to 1965 that have only recently been opened to the public. As Laurel digs into the files, she becomes convinced that something terrible led to the closure of the department, something that has remained hidden all these years. It is this incident that Laurel decides will become the topic of her required research. But, as she gets closer to the truth, she is also getting closer to a danger that should never be released. 

I love that this book is based on actual fact. It's true. Duke University had a parapsychology department headed up by Joseph B. and Louisa Rhine, professors at the university. There was nothing suspicious about the department's closure -- Joseph Rhine reached mandatory retirement age and went on to open The Rhine Research Center -- but I think it's the perfect inspiration and setting for a story of this kind, and I think Sokoloff did an excellent job weaving her own scary tale around a fascinating part of paranormal history. 

I am increasingly impressed with each of Sokoloff's books. They all stand out for me as having truly original plots, great characters, and that special something that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you read them. Readers looking for these things should not miss any of her books: The Harrowing, a fabulous twist on a traditional ghost story; The Price, just how far would you go to save someone you loved; and now, The Unseen, a creepy psi thriller

So treat yourself to a truly creepy read and buy The Unseen when it hits shelves next Tuesday (May 26)! Curl up with it late at night and turn off all the lights (except one to read by) or take it to the beach, either way you're definitely going to sleep with the lights on when you're done!


Jennsbookshelf said...

I skimmed your review, only because I'm reading this now. It's amazing..just wanted to comment to thank YOU for introducing me to this author!

ann marie said...

I just finished reading The Price last light, it was ok. I like Afraid better. Thanks for introducing me to the author and I will have to check out her other books. Have a great week. :)

Marie said...

Sounds awesome for the thriller fan. :-) Great post!

Icedream said...
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Icedream said...

I am going to have to add this one to my list Becky. Thanks :D