Saturday, October 20, 2012

Devil's Oven by Laura Benedict

Ivy Luttrell is so very lonely. One afternoon while out wandering the woods near her house, she discovers the dismembered pieces of a man’s body. A talented seamstress, Ivy carefully sews the man together. He seems so real and so lifelike that Ivy isn’t the least bit surprised when he actually awakens. She believes he’s a gift, the end of her loneliness. Someone she can spend her life with. She’s wrong. The man is pure hatred and evil and he’s on a mission that even death can’t stop. 

Devil’s Oven is such an odd book! Laura Benedict has definitely emerged as a significant player in the southern gothic style. 

Like a lot of authors I enjoy, Benedict has an exceptional talent for building suspense and atmosphere. The eerie tone of the book paired with the mountain folktale feel makes Devil's Oven a haunting read - definitely one that's stayed with me beyond the final page.

Most of the characters in Devil's Oven toe the line between good and bad. There's a lot of gray area in their motivations -- Ivy, for example, and her loyalty to her sort of Frankenstein's monster even after learning what he's been up to. It gives the story a dark feel, something I recall from her earlier books as well.

If you're looking for something a little different in the horror/suspense genre, I'd definitely recommend checking out Benedict's work. Devil's Oven is her latest, but her earlier books -- Isabella Moon and Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts -- are both exceptional.

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