Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann

17991758Do you ever get sucked into one of those indie movies with meandering plots and questionable characters? You know the kind I’m talking about, right? Sometimes I’m just too tired to change the channel, or I become strangely enchanted by the bizarreness of it all. What makes or breaks these movies is a plot twist that brings it all together. And that, my friends, pretty much sums up what happened with this book.

Looking at the back cover, I assumed it would be a cat-and-mouse type thriller about a woman running from a fiendish stalker while getting romanced by the hunky town sheriff. Turns out, this book was quite a departure from the formulaic romance/thrillers that line my bookshelf. Was that necessarily a good thing? Eh, I suppose. It’s good to break out of our comfort zones every now and then, right? At least that’s what my dad says when he tries to push one of his hard-boiled detective thrillers on me.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? The first few chapters are pretty darn slow. After 50 pages of “My dad is controlling me…my house is a prison…I’m repressing the past…,” I was growing a little tired of the ongoing monologue. But once the story started to develop, I was sucked into Kate Cranbrook’s dark web of secrets. The only problem with Kate is that she has the personality of a sea slug. In fact, she’s everything I despise in a human being.  She’s totally in love with herself and uses people without giving anything in return. But yet, I was oddly intrigued by the motives behind her bizarre actions. That right there is what kept me reading tearing through the pages until the very end.

What really happened when she and her father fled from Africa? Why won’t she run away from her controlling father and get a place of her own? Did she really put an innocent man in jail? I didn’t have questions to those answers until the very end—and trust me—it’s worth the wait. I’ll stop right here before I give anything away.  But I will say that the ending will certainly give people lots to talk about. I certainly have some choice words about some of the characters, but I’ll keep them to myself to save you from any spoilers.

Although I loathed the main character and found the first few chapters to be in dire need of editing, I have to tip my hat to the author for crafting a tale that breaks the boundaries of genre fiction. It’s not a classic mystery, nor is it a typical thriller. So if you’re looking for a break from the monotony, give this book a try. I’m quite certain you’ll have a strong opinion of Kate and her creeptastic father after polishing off the last chapter.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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