Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{read: bookish thriller} Dominance by Will Lavender

It's been a while since I've read a book this creepy, although the creep factor didn't kick in for me until about two-thirds of the way through. Then, though, every creak in the house sounded suspicious. Perhaps it didn't help that it was nearly midnight and my dogs kept barking for reasons unknown to me. I expected a murder to  duck into the living room at any minute, axe in hand.

Before that, though, I had a hard time getting into this plot-driven thriller that's light on character development. In this book, which alternates between a college class taught by an esteemed professor/convicted killer years ago and a present-day murder, much is made of a game called The Procedure, in which people reenact, word for word, scenes from certain books as a way to fully understand them. Think of this like role-playing games for bookish types. Yet this game, which played such a central role in the book, could have been even more powerful if it had been tied in more directly to the murders themselves. I kept waiting for this and was disappointed not to see it.

In the meantime, some of the plot devices — gathering all of the former students into one house, for example — seemed contrived. The last page, however, made up for the shortcomings in plot and character earlier in the book.

Dominance by Will Lavender (Simon and Schuster, 2011)
My rating: 3 stars

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