In a word – creepy.
It has been a number of months, maybe even years since I’ve begun a novel and literally couldn’t put it down until it was finished and I knew the whole story before I could sleep. Penpal caught hold of me by the scruff of the neck and wouldn’t let me go.
Since I really, really, really want you to read this I’m not going to give away very much plot except for this: It is a discovery of putting the pieces of a life together from when a child into the adult comprehension of today.
The main character begins investigating some strange occurrences he remembers as a child and pieces together a story he didn’t want to know. What would you do if you discovered you were a stalking victim from when you were a child and your mother did all she could to protect you? What would you do if you found out the stalking didn’t end until the death of the stalker/pervert and your best friend and girlfriend were involved? Yeah, creepy.
The reader can put together the pieces faster, of course, because we are seeing it from above and waiting, sometimes with held breath, for the character to grasp the same understanding we have.
Auerbach has crafted an excellent novel with pieces of information per chapter leading to a whole. The descriptors put us in the story with the main character and we see it from his perspective as well as our own, which is very difficult to do and keep the reader on the same track as the character without getting lost a couple of times. Not once did I get lost.
Penpal is not only well written, it is also well edited. The flow of the story was excellent and its cohesion didn’t flag – only once did I notice it stutter, but it can be forgiven because the character was having difficulty admitting the truth all the pieces of information were pointing to.
If you want a genuine thriller without it once stepping over into horror – as many modern thrillers can sometimes do – this book is definitely for you. And, if you do read it, I’d like to know your thoughts.
Solid five-out-of-five stars.