Thursday, August 11, 2016

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

The Manderly Resort is the newest luxury hotel, only days away from its opening.  It's been built by a millionaire, Charles Destin,  who is determined to spare nothing in luxury and security.  That command is carried out by a legion of employees.  There is Henri, the chef, who is a master at his job but tempermental. Franklin oversees general details but is lazy and a prankster.   There are Jules and Justin, former caterers who came to work at the hotel when their catering firm collasped.   There are maids and sous chefs and gardeners and security employees.  Overseeing it all is Tessa, an architect at heart who put that aside to run massive projects like the opening of the Manderly.  Then there is Brian, a man from her past who shows up on this most deadly day.

But something is very wrong.  Someone is determined that the Manderly will never open; that its name will conjure up images of horror instead of luxury and a resort from all daily cares.  That someone has employed a team of killers who are stalking the hotel floor by floor, killing everyone they encounter.  The hotel is so large that no one sees or finds the bodies as the killers make their way throughout the building.  There are secret elevators and security cameras everywhere but none of that makes a difference.  Who, if anyone, will survive?

Gina Wohlsdorf has written a stunning debut novel.  The writing is terse and cuts between scenes like a camera on automatic shutter speed.  The reader is not sure where to pay attention or even who is telling the story.  The tension builds quickly with one after the other falling prey to the killers.  Along with the suspense and horror, a love story unfolds.  That shouldn't work in this setting, but does.  This book screams out for a transfer to movie.  It is recommended for thriller and horror readers.

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