Traces of Kara by Melissa Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Traces of Kara is a heart-rending, emotional and thrilling drama with the backdrop of horror.
All Kara ever wanted to do was to lead a normal life, go to nursing school, and get away from her cheating husband. But an overprotective mother, a sinister stalker, and secrets with deep roots combine to throw Kara into a shadowy nightmare of real and implanted memories.
The setting of an aging coal plant, sealed off tunnels and graveyards of outdated machinery create a horrifying atmosphere where blood, bodies and suspicious odors lurk around every corner. The story reeled me in from the start and I could not let go of it, no matter how scary. A movie ran through my mind, complete with sound effects, creepy music, and the shuffling of the villain, raspy breathing, and that voice calling in the dark. Yet, love and devotion shone deep inside the chamber of horrors. The characters were realistic and admitted things to themselves that most people hid or denied. They were scared, not heroic, but loved and cared deeply enough to do the unthinkable, and at the end made themselves admirable and heroic.
I never thought I'd enjoy story that would leave nightmares, but this one sucked me in and spit me out thrilled, chilled, and congealed. It was just so good, and yes, I'll never think about a coal plant the same way ever again or take a tour of one. It was SO-O scary, but had a touching mother-daughter story and plenty of relationship drama intertwined into it. Gosh, I'm still reeling. It is so rich, so multi-faceted and a story I'll never forget. It's like Hannibal Lector, Freddie Kruger and the Tami Hoag villains combined with the emotional bond of Jody Picoult, Jane Fitch, and Steel Magnolia. Expect the unexpected. The ending was perfect and realistic. Not tied with a plastic ribbon, but satisfying at a deeper level.
I was given an ARC by the author and enjoyed it thoroughly.
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