Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mister Tender's Girl by Carter Wilson

Two time Colorado Book Award Winner Carter Wilson is back in what promises to be his breakout hit!

Carter Wilson's latest is a story literally ripped from the headlines. Inspired by the recent Slenderman killings, Mister Tender's Girl introduces readers to Alice, the daughter of a graphic novel writer who's creation inspired two twin girls to commit a heinous crime. Alice survived, but moved overseas. Her father abandoned his popular creation, vowing never to write another Mister Tender tale. He passed away shortly thereafter.

Now grown up, Alice has done her best to move past the crime that so defined her youth. She's changed her name and owns a semi successful coffee shop. But she still suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and has to be on guard at all times if she's to combat them.

And then a package arrives. A package that appears to be a new Mister Tender tale and includes a log in to a website that proves someone knows who Alice really is.

Mister Tender's Girl is a leave all the lights on, check your doors and windows kind of read guaranteed to keep you up at night wondering just who might be watching you!

This is, surprisingly, almost a bit of a slow burn. The story moves quickly, but it starts with the nagging fear that something is coming. Alice knows she's being watched but she doesn't know why or by who. Clearly, though, she knows being the subject of someone's obsession isn't good. The only reason anyone has to be interested in her is her status as a survivor of that long ago crime. And the girls responsible are in prison.

Or they were.

This is not actually based on the Slenderman case. I had the chance to meet Wilson at our regional trade show where he discussed how this story came to be. Apparently he heard the headline and that's pretty much it. It kicked off the idea and he avoided everything else about the case while he was writing. So while the kernel of the story is founded in that all too real crime, the book itself is all Wilson.

Which is kind of scary if you really think about it :)

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