(Tuonela Book #2)
by Anne Frasier
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Rachel Burton tried to leave, but the killing brought her back. The skinned body was found in the woods, just as Rachel—the town medical examiner—was driving out of Tuonela for good, or so she thought. Now her baby will be born here, and the betrayal of Evan Stroud—the man she’s always loved, the man who can never see the light of day—will continue to haunt her waking and sleeping hours…
Others are coming to Tuonela, drawn to the legend of the Pale Immortal, the so-called vampire whose exhumed body is now on display. And others will die. As Evan succumbs to madness, those around him will suspect the worst of him. But everything he is rumored to be will pale in comparison to the one who has been awakened…
Tuonela is a town whose name means "land of the dead" and there's a dark secret that even the locals refuse to speak about. The residents are shockingly use to the mysteries deaths, soft whispers on the wind, and the Old-Tuonela ghost town, only 5-miles away, where only a few brave souls dare to visit. Yet, with the opening of the new museum exhibit displaying the mummified body of the "Pale Immortal" (the supposed town vampire from 100 years ago, Richard Manchester), Tuonela is now being overrun with out-siders and journalists . . . including some university students completing their senior work of a Blair Witch Project- esque documentary on the town's haunted past. What's Tuoneal and it's residents to do when a dark history begins to unravel?
There are five characters that the reader follows throughout "Garden of Darkness". The first being Rachel Burton, a town local, whose parents passed away a few year previously. She's also the only one in Tuonela to complete a full autopsy on the skinless cadavers. She desperately wants to leave the town and move to California, but is basically coerced into staying, even though she's eight months pregnant. Next is Alastair Stroud, the chief of police, and father to the town's most talked about resident, Evan. He takes up drinking again after discovering some disturbing facts about a terrible mistake he made in the past. Evan Stroud suffers from a skin disease that makes him sensitive to light as well as the brunt to every vampire joke in Tuonela. He shares a dark secret with his father and is driven to the point of insanity in this book. Next we have, Graham Stroud, Evan's son, who escaped from an abusive mother to find his heritage and is disappointed in what he discovers. He now works as a part-time security guard at the museum while completing high school, but gets close with outsider, Kristin Blackmoore, whose is in town working on the documentary.
The story is a bit rocky here and there, but easy enough to follow overall. At the beginning, the reader really has no idea what is going on since following so many different point-of-views. Eventually the POVs begin to collide and the tale gets creepier and creepier. It's like a nice Dean Koontz tale with footsteps outside your bedroom door when you're home alone or spooky scratching sounds in the dead of night. I LOVE that! Sadly it's also one of those books that builds up nicely, but ends abruptly. Boo! The only way to truely enjoy this book is reading it late into the night. Sweet Dreams.
Likes: The spook factors throughout the tale were fun.
Dislikes: This was Book #2 in a trilogy and unfortunately, book #3 will never be published in the series.