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Dismantled Hardcover – 16 June 2009
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- Publisher : Harper; 1st edition (16 June 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 422 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061689335
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061689338
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.38 x 22.86 cm
- Customer Reviews:
"[A]n eerie and gripping tale of suspense. And Emma is a triumph of characterization: It's rare that I find an author who can so compellingly convey a child's point of view."--Boston Globe
"In her third, elegantly spooky mystery revolving around the vulnerability of a young girl and a haunting past, McMahon fashions a fresh and entrancing ghost-in-the-woods tale replete with startling psychoses, delectable Hitchcockian motifs, and dangerous attractions."--Booklist
"McMahon has once again written a suspensful and smart novel that weaves past and present seamlessly, slowly opening the minds of her characters in such a way that they almost feel like part of your real life long after you put the book down....Plan to read Ms. McMahon's novel in one sitting and to nibble your fingernails to the nub."--The Chronicle (Vermont)
"The collective sins of four college friends come home to roost more than a decade after a bizarre tragedy scattered them in this disturbing, darkly hypnotic novel by McMahon...McMahon's deftly creepy prose creates a world of chaos and abuse; the book brims with unexpected and often startling plot twists, taking the reader on a strange journey that never disappoints...beautifully written and extraordinarily imaginative."--Kirkus Reviews
"McMahon's gift is the deliciously twisty way she subverts all your expectations, keeping you guessing with wry wit and feverish chills."--People
"A failed marriage. A long-buried secret. A lonely child's imaginary friend. From these simple ingredients, Jennifer McMahon has constructed a fun, twisty thriller. Expect DISMANTLED to earn comparisons to THE SECRET HISTORY."--Stewart O'Nan, author of SONGS FOR THE MISSING
"One of the brightest new stars of literary suspense."--Los Angeles Times (online)
From the Back Cover
The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell returns with a chilling novel in which the secrets of the past come back to haunt a group of friends in terrifying ways.
Dismantlement = Freedom
Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto--To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart--these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up.
Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour's drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide--apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard--it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma.
Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die--or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge?
Full of white-knuckle tension with deeply human characters caught in circumstances beyond their control, Jennifer McMahon's gripping story and spine-tingling plot prove that she is a master at weaving the fear of the supernatural with the stark realities of life.
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This was a fast, enjoyable read. With the repeated use of flashback and very short chapters, we learn what about what happened ten years earlier at the same time as the present day events unfold.
From the plot point of view, there were some nice twists at the end though, arguably, there was perhaps just one twist too many. The writing was unobtrusive and the story weirdly entertaining.
There were some faults. The group leader's Manson-like attributes were not really convincingly described (could she really have been that magnetic?) The other group members were a bit too one-dimensional and stereotypical.
All in all, this was an enjoyable, weird, psychological mystery.