Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

Four art students meet in college and soon form a group.  Suz, Winnie, Tess and Henry are consumed by their art and by Suz's belief that to understand something, you must tear it down.  Their group is named the Compassionate Dismantlers. They start out small, then graduate to "missions" such as shooting out transformers, burning art, and even kidnapping.  They move into a cabin together.  As a summer comes to an end, they start to fall apart with intra-group betrayals, secrets and alliances.  The summer ends with a tragedy and the group breaks up.

Fast forward ten years.  Henry and Tess have married and have a daughter, Emma, who was conceived that summer.  They are separated although still living in the same house and getting more and more distant from each other.  Emma, desparate to find a way to get her parents back together, searches their studios and finds evidence of The Dismantlers.  She sends a postcard to each member whose address she can find, writing only their motto:  "DISMANTLEMENT = FREEDOM.  To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart."

As the postcards are delivered, strange things start happening.  Some of the members come back to town, and perhaps others have also secretly returned.  Is the tragedy, hidden for a decade,  about to be discovered?  Have some members return to get revenge?  McMahon rachets up the tension from page to page until the reader can't determine reality from fantasy.

Wow, this book is amazing.  The suspense level is intense with multiple plot twists and turns.  The reader is sure they know what is happening and then a page turns and everything is different from what was perceived.  The characters are realistic, and the group leader, Suz, is so vivid that the reader expects to look up and see her striding into their room.  This book is recommended for mystery/suspense fans.


Marjorie/cenya2 said...

A super review, I love a good suspense novel.
I will put it on my wish list.

Steve Lindahl said...

This sounds great. I've never read one of Jennifer McMahon's books, but I'll put her name on my to read list. I might try one of her older ones first.

Sandie said...

After reading this one, I went back and put her others on my wish list at paperbackswap.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book so much - it seems to be a great psychological thriller!Thanks for being a part of the tour.