Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review of "Niceville" by Carsten Stroud

Rainey Teague is walking home from school one afternoon, looking into store windows, when he disappears. Seems this kind of thing is common in Niceville, which seems to have an unusually large number of abductions.

Other terrible things also happen in town.

- There's been a recent bank robbery, associated with the death of several citizens and four cops - in which millions of dollars and a secret high-tech device were stolen. Even worse, the robbers were a police officer and his accomplices. 
- A creepy divorced husband/father, forbidden to see his child, makes elaborate plans to cause major trouble for some local residents. 
- Several respected citizens disappear in mysterious circumstances. 
- And there are whispered warnings around town that's it's dangerous to look into mirrors.

Detective Nick Kavanaugh, his lawyer wife Kate, and Agent Boonie Hackendorff take an interest in the odd occurrences and crimes in Niceville - which come to involve the odd reappearance of a comatose Rainey Teague; double-crosses among criminals; Chinese businessmen; blackmail; a possible child molester; ghosts that tear people apart; secret pornographic photos; and more.

This is a complex story that blends supernatural events in a seemingly cursed town with criminal activity that might occur anywhere. The flurry of characters and activities lead to a resolution that doesn't seem to tie up all the loose ends - but this may have been the author's intention.

All in all it's an okay book with a little too much going on for easy reading.

Rating: 3 stars

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