This Was No Hit & Miss Affair. . .
I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoy stories that are that little bit different. Stories that are unpretentious, yet subtle enough to grab your attention from the outset. And in Dead Close by Mark Robinson, that’s exactly what you get.
Take a look at the blurb, and you’ll see why it caught my discerning eye:
Following a power outage in the dead of night, the residents of a leafy cul-de-sac mysteriously vanish. Amongst the missing are Eve Parker’s aunt and uncle. Desperate for answers, Eve starts digging into the history of Roanoke Road with the help of her friends, who host a true crime podcast series. What they discover could not only put them in harm’s way but also make this their last podcast, ever. . .
And this modest intro leads into one of the best murder/mystery/horror whodunnits I’ve read in a long time. Seriously . . . it’s THAT good.
elevate this story is the fact that Robinson keeps to a simple formula:
Keep things short and sweet.
So, you’ll find the mystery starts from the very first chapter. And once you’re hooked, the breadcrumbs start to trail through the story arc. You are led from character to character; victim to victim; crumb to crumb, with the occasional revelation thrown in.
But never too much. Never too quickly.
exquisite how Robinson establishes a thread, allows it to tighten, and then
moves on to the next facet of his story, only to repeat the process again. In
doing so, he gradually tightens the overall theme and brings the larger picture
into focus. (Think of the way some people start a jigsaw by establishing a
perimeter, and then work their way inward).
Each chapter is concise; it plays into the overall premise; and it keeps you involved from beginning to end. The pacing, the characters, the delivery . . . it all works beautifully.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am sure you will too.