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BOOK REVIEW: Rapture by Thomas Tessier †by Lisa Scherer
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BOOK REVIEW: Rapture by Thomas Tessier
This Halloween season Iíve been trying some horror authors Iíve never read before. First up was Thomas Tessier, who was very highly recommended to me by a well-read friend whose opinion I respect. Of course this experiment was destined to blow up in my face.
Rapture is a psychological thriller about one manís obsession and the lengths to which heíll go to get what he wants. Jeff Lisker is a successful businessman with no social life to speak of who returns home to Connecticut to bury his father and close out his dadís estate. Returning to his hometown gets Jeff reminiscing about his first love Georgianne Slaton, the girl who got away. He looks her up and has a nice visit with her, her husband and teenage daughter. Jeff wants more than a nice visit, however, and goes about systematically destroying Georgianneís life so that she will have no other distractions and can focus solely on him and their true love that in his mind has been waiting 20 years to blossom.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thomas Tessier writes supernatural and non-supernatural horror novels and short stories that usually end in a depressing and bleak way. (A regular ray of sunshine, this guy.)
WHAT I LIKED:
The fundamental appeal of Rapture, to me, is that Jeff Lisker isnít some larger-than-life lunatic. Heís the nice, normal guy next door who is secretly evil and insane. Heís the reason people say ďI never suspected a thingĒ when being interviewed about their neighbor/co-worker/friend with a secret cache of dead bodies in his basement. As frightening as the Michael Myers types might be, whatís truly terrifying is the fact that you never know who is capable of murder. You think youíre having a nice visit with your high-school boyfriend from twenty years ago, laughing about the good ole days, and he thinks the two of you are rekindling your romance and that you want him to kill off your entire family so the two of you can live happily ever after. Tessier didnít explain, rationalize or analyze Jeff Liskerís obsessive, twisted compulsions; he just presented them. Evil just exists, without rhyme or reason.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
While Jeff Liskerís actions, logical or not, could be chalked up to his insanity, the other charactersí actions should have been more grounded in reality. Once the plot really gets going (which I wonít spoil with specifics), almost everything the main characters do is ridiculous, unbelievable and unrealistic. The plot dragged. There was no suspense or terror. Actions were practically announced ahead of time, but it didnít really matter because no one reacted normally anyway. Rapture ran out of steam about two-thirds of the way through and just limped on to an incredibly anticlimactic and unsatisfying ending.
Not all psychological terror has to rise above a slow burn to deliver, but unfortunately Rapture fails to even ignite in the first place.
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