"Powerfully creepy psychological suspense"
Ruth Gemmill travels from London to remote Greenwall to
find her younger brother Alex, a teacher in the small
village, who apparently has disappeared. Ruth, a victim of
relational abuse from her former boyfriend Matt, thinks her
sibling might be a gay bashing casualty.
However, almost upon her arrival in Greenwall, she learns
that the school Alex taught at does not exist and no one
will confess they know him. Stunned she visits his
apartment complex only to find no one willing to speak of
Alex as if they are all frightened of the consequences of
talking with an outsider. Worse is the eerie gray figure
that seems to follow Ruth everywhere, but remains just on
the edge of her vision. Everyone fears and mistrusts Ruth
who though quite frightened by all she sees and meets
refuses to leave without learning what happened to Alex.
On first brush, THE LONELY PLACES feels like paint by the
numbers horror tale as all the expected incidents occur.
Through Ruth's fears and flashbacks, readers gain a full
understanding of her and the two men in her life. This
makes the tale into a powerfully creepy psychological
suspense story as the audience wants Ruth to escape the
spiders and their webs that threaten to engulf her. The
gray figure is as frightening a character one will
encounter lurking on the edge of the heroine's vision and
the mind of the reader. Fans of psychological suspense
will enjoy this thriller that partially resides in the
horror genre too.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 18, 2002