Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Woman by Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee (CBR-V #26)
Cannonball Read V: Book #26/52
I picked up this book because I really like Jack Ketchum for the most part (The Girl Next Door is one of my favorite horror novels) and I really enjoyed the first two books in this particular series (Off Season and Offspring). I didn't even know there was a third book until recently.
The Woman would read fine as a stand alone book, but if you've read Off Season and Offspring, you have more of a background on who the Woman is and where she came from. After the massacre at the end of Offspring, she is wandering the woods on her own and is found by a guy named Christopher Cleek. For some reason that I'm not entirely sure of (just insane, I guess?) he decides to take the Woman and lock her up in his cellar then try and bring his wife and kids in on the fun of trying to "domesticate" her. Turns out Chris is a pretty sick guy (and so is his pervert son) and there's lots of blood and rape.
Sadly, this book disappointed me, especially since I know Ketchum is capable of a much better story. This one felt like he just sort of threw it together last minute. It doesn't help that I just recently read the excellent The Summer I Died, which also involves a crazy person holding someone against their will in a basement. This isn't a terrible book (Ketchum is an excellent writer in general), but it just fell short in the character department. The Woman was alright because I knew her character from the previous two novels, but the family who kidnapped her weren't as fully formed as I'd like. I never got a clear reason WHY the father was insane and WHY THE HELL DID HIS WIFE OR DAUGHTER NOT RUN TO THE POLICE THE FIRST CHANCE THEY GOT?? I'm sorry, but if my husband or my dad told me that he had a wild woman chained up in the basement the last thing I'd do would be to stay in that house. The whole family just took the whole thing in stride. It was weird.
I'd definitely recommend Off Season and Offspring, but maybe skip the third book in this trilogy as it doesn't really seem to add much to the story from the first two novels.