Right off the bat, The Lost starts with a bang (pardon the pun). Ray was a nutcase when he was a teenager and blew two girls away that were camping. His two friends, Tim and Jennifer, were sheep when they watched him do it and just stood there with their mouths open. They didn't turn him in. They didn't try to stop him. Nothing. Why did he do it? Just to see how it felt. Four years later, Ray is still just as big of a nutcase. The only difference is that he hasn't killed anyone in those four years since. Tim and Jennifer are still the loyal sheep that follow Ray's every move without question. The police were unable to pin the murders on Ray, but the officers on duty, Charlie and Ed, knew damn well that Ray did it. However, they didn't have the proof the bust him. So, for 4 years, he walked a free man. But four years is a long time and Ray has never had anyone push his buttons to see what he would really do if his temper reached critical mass...until now.
The Lost is a fantastic tale told in Ketchum's patented straight-forward way. He captures small town America. The characters are amazingly realistic and feel like you know someone exactly like them. When I say Ray is a nutcase, I mean it. On the surface, to the people that don't really know him, he only seems like a harmless hood. But his evil is constantly simmering under a lid that is barely on and just waiting to go flying off. Those are the scariest kind of monsters. Realistic and unassuming until one day...BLAM! Ketchum does an amazing job ratcheting up the dread until the final act. If you haven't read Ketchum yet, this one isn't a bad one to start off with. Pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
4 1/2 Bullets through the Eye out of 5
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Sherlock Holmes is not a sociopath. He is not even a "high-functioning sociopath," as the otherwise truly excellent BBC Sherlock has styled him. First of all, psychopaths and sociopaths are the exact same thing. There is no difference. And second of all, no actual psychopath-or sociopath, if you (or Holmes) will-would ever admit to his psychopathy.
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This book started out so good I was sure I’d be giving it at least 4 stars. The first half of the book is a very suspenseful cat and mouse game between a damaged woman and a deranged psychopath. I was on the edge of my seat reading. And I never saw the twist coming.
But once that twist comes, the book turns into a gore fest. At that point, it just became another horror book with over the top violence. It was still suspenseful but the acts of torture were truly hard to read and I felt it became predictable.
One element of the book that I felt the author handled very well was the flash backs to show why the main female character Kristine was so damaged. She did a good job in fleshing out this woman and the strength she had drawn from the horrendous events in her life. But I don’t think she handled the flash backs to show the development of a psychopath as well.
All in all, due to the edge-of-your-seat beginning and the development of Kristine, I’ll give the book 3 stars.
This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.