Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
Published June 2009 by Harper Collins Publishers
Source: the publisher and TLC Book Tours
Ten years ago, four college friends at a small Vermont art college band together to form a group called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Their motto is "to understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart" and they begin committing acts of meaningful vandalism. After graduation, they all move to a remote cabin where the pranks begin to become more dangerous and the motives less clear to some of the members. When one of the experiments goes wrong, though, the rest of the group leaves the cabin with only the clothes on their backs and a promise never to tell anyone about what happened.
But nine years later, someone has sent some of the members a postcard with a picture of a moose, the groups credo and their saying "Dismantlement = freedom." When a college acquaintance, who was involved with the group, gets the postcard, he commits suicide and the family hires a private investigator to find out what the postcard means and why it was found near the man's body.
Henry and Tess, two members of the group, are living only miles away from the cabin with their nine-year-old daughter (who suffers from OCD and has a not-so-nice imaginary friend). Things have fallen apart for Henry and Tess and only get worse when they hear of the suicide and when strange things begin happening, their sense of guilt over what happened ten years ago drives them to do things they would never have imagined.
I read McMahon's "Promise Not To Tell" and was so impressed with it that I accepted this book without any idea what it might be about. I'm a blurb reader, a review reader, and I usually go into a book with some idea what to expect. I did do that with this one so the surprises started coming at me right from the start and only built from their. The story alternates between the present time and the time of the Dismantlers and from different points of view; this can be a tricky thing to pull off but McMahon does a terrific job of using it to build the suspense. Except for Emma, Tess and Henry's daughter, none of the characters is particularly likable but McMahon makes the reader want to know what will happen to them. When I first got the book, I worried that it might be too long--it's hard to keep up suspense for over 400 pages. McMahon makes use of every page.
What's not to love about about a book that combines a murder, a possible ghost, a maybe not so imaginary friend, and a kidnapping? I couldn't put this one down. Thanks to Trish and TLC book tours for including me on this tour!
To learn more about McMahon, checkout her web site. McMahon has also written The Island of Lost Girls.
For more opinions about this book, check out the other stops on the tour. Now that I've read the book, I'm going to do that, too.
Tuesday, May 18th: Rundpine
Wednesday, May 19th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, May 20th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, May 25th: The Cajun Book Lady
Monday, May 31st: I’m Booking It
Tuesday, June 1st: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, June 2ed: Bookalicio.us
Thursday, June 3rd: Chick With Books
Monday, June 7th: Regular Rumination
Wednesday, June 9th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, June 10th: Take Me Away