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My Progress:


11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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21 / 50 books. 42% done!

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43 / 50 books. 86% done!

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38 / 52 books. 73% done!

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25 / 40 books. 63% done!

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15 / 40 books. 38% done!

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9 / 25 books. 36% done!

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6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

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22 / 100 books. 22% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

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60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Gudenkauf Thriller Keeps Me Up Way Past My Bedtime

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When it comes to scaring the kids of little Pitch, Iowa, the tale of Joseph Wither—an alleged murderer who lived locally decades ago—is right up there with Bloody Mary and The Vanishing Hitchhiker.  So, when a junior high school teacher gives her class an assignment to research an urban legend, 12-year-old Violet Crow and two of her classmates decide to look more closely at the Wither story.  Obsessed with the creepy tale, the girls agree to a late-night meeting at an abandoned rail yard with someone claiming to be Joseph.  Hours later, one of them is found beaten near to death.  The other two are in shock, refusing to speak about the incident.  What really happened that night in the rail yard?  Was Cora attacked by a supernatural entity?  Or someone much more corporeal?  

Despite its simple premise, Before She was Found by Heather Gudenkauf is a taut, twisty thriller with an ending I didn't see coming.  Populated with interesting characters, the novel also poses some intriguing questions about the dangers of hysteria and groupthink as well as asking how far a parent will go to protect their child.  Atmospheric and engrossing, this one kept me reading late into the night, desperate to know what was going to happen next. 

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a couple F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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