Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Author: Tamera Lawrence
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc. 2008
Reviewed by Barbara Milbourn for Writers in the Sky (9/08)
First-time author and mystery/thriller aficionado Tamera Lawrence has taken a true story told to her by her mother and put her own spin on it.
A boy drowns in a pond near his home in rural Pennsylvania—an innocent, nearly friendless boy. Twenty-five years later the first chapter begins across the road when the drowned boy’s only friend, Mike Adams, returns to the area with his wife and seven-year-old daughter to live in the house he grew up in.
It’s a grand old estate. His mother died there and left it to him, her only child. His wife has put her own personal stamp on it which meets with everyone’s approval—or maybe not. Things swiftly turn creepy when objects fall, break, move, or splatter for no apparent reason. It might just be overactive imaginations triggered by the silence or the emptiness of the countryside. Incidents come and go and the pleasant family dynamics unfurl between this small-town dentist husband and his loving, helpful wife and daughter as they try to get comfortable with rural life and their neighbors.
The neighbors across the way are friendly, particularly Fanny, who Mike has known from boyhood and who is the area’s premier pie baker. Everyone knows Fanny and her husband for her pies and hard work and for their outreach as foster parents during the time Mike was a boy. One of his old friends, and now dental patient, was one of the children they fostered.
As in any good story, the plot starts twisting. Things pop up in attics, and bedrooms, and barns. People aren’t always as they appear to be. A clue is uncovered here, a voice may heard there, and the chills begin to roll. You turn the lights up brighter if you’re home alone and reading in the dark.
Tamera Lawrence has spun a prickly and entertaining tale. She’s pulled the reader in to her native state and introduced them to a sparse, but diverse cast of characters and events that evokes a sense of dread and hoped-for resolve. The Pond is a good first effort. Enjoy.