The Price

District Attorney Will Sullivan once had the dream and potential to become the next Governor of Massachusets.  Now his dreams are for his terminally ill daughter to live.  His wife Joanna, refuses to deal with that reality, clinging to any hope she can and Will is afraid of losing them both.  When miracles seem to happen to patients around them, Will is approached by an odd counsellor who says he can help but something about him seems off.  With his political career about to collapse around him, his only concern being his wife and his daughter, Joanna begs him to continue campaigning.  When his daughter makes a full recovery, Will is certain all is not right and his wife begins disappearing at night.  Miracles might indeed happen, but there is a price.

What price would you pay to save the life of someone you loved?

I found this book much spookier than The Harrowing, even though its supernatural elements were less evident.  I can only put it down to clever writing, a well laid out setting and a good tale.  I always knew where I was in relation to the story and everyone you meet, even briefly,  felt well rounded.  Sokoloff’s easy to read style of writing was again very much present and the smooth flow meant I had to keep the pages turning.  I really had to restrain myself from jumping ahead and see what the answers were and again, was glad I didn’t.  The main characters were excellent and I found I empathised with Will the most, as Joanna was emotionally closed off for a lot of the book.  There were a few scenes that made the hair on the back of my neck prickle and I really found it hard to put it down, needing to find out what was happening next and what the ultimate resolution would be.

A very intriguing and engaging second book from Alexandra Sokoloff.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

The Harrowing

Already lonely, Thanksgiving is hard on Robin Stone when Mendenhall, her residence hall at Baird College, empties out for the holiday.  To her surprise she finds that four other students have also chosen to remain at the hall, and while very different to each other they become bonded by their choice to remain for the long weekend.  As they entertain themselves, they become aware of another presence slightly oppressive, persuasive and they play a dangerous game thinking they know who it is.  Five at the hall at the start of the holiday.  How many will be left when the hall fills once more?

I’d heard good things about Alexandra Sokoloff’s work but I do like to make my own mind up about an author that is new to me.  The Harrowing is the first book she released and is a mild horror/suspense.

The first thing that struck me is that she has a very fluid and easy to read style of writing, something that is always a treat to find.  The second is she has a knack for getting you right into the story and in tune with the characters right from the start.  My third and final impression was, while the story wasn’t overly complicated, it had plenty of twists and turns to keep me turning the pages and enough tension that I wanted to peek at the back to find out if it was all going to come out OK.  I managed not to and am glad I didn’t, as I would have missed out on a lot of the build up.  The characters were well created, I could empathise with them easily and I cared and worried about what the outcome would be for them.

Considering it was a debut novel, it was an extremely engaging, enjoyable and tense read.  I definitely look forwards to reading more by Alexandra Sokoloff.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)