Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review - Gated by Matt Drabble (4/5)

A thriller to the last page…
Click here for the Amazon listing
To overcome their loss they up stick and move to Eden Gardens, a US gated community that offers "Heaven on Earth and Twice as Nice". The people are warm and friendly and welcome them with open arms. The town is a beautiful throwback to a bygone age, where the sun always shines and the sky's always blue.

As they settle into their new perfect lives, the circle is complete when Emily falls pregnant. The town is perfect, the weather is perfect and their lives are perfect. But are the stares from their neighbours a little too intense, is the town a little too interested in their happy news, and is Eden all that it seems.

They are about to find out that paradise comes at a cost, and when you sign a lease, you should always check the fine print.
“Heaven on earth and twice as nice”.  Right.  I absolutely love this concept.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Michael and Emily are seeking a change of scenery after the devastating loss of their child.  They decide to move halfway across the world to have a fresh start.  Michael finds an ad for a gated community in the United States called “Eden”.  On the website, it is absolutely gorgeous.  There are lush rolling hills, beautiful houses, and nearly everything is self contained in the walls of the community.

Matt Drabble
They are welcomed with enthusiasm at the entrance to the community by Casper Christian, the town manager and descendant from the original Christian family that founded the town.  From day one, everyone is friendly and welcoming.  Maybe they are a little too welcoming.  From their mansion which is fully furnished, to the quaint town square, to the tram that covers the community, there is really no reason to leave the community.  As they settle in to their new life, Michael and Emily cannot believe their good fortune.  Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, they begin to relax.  Eventually Emily gets pregnant again and life seems so perfect. 

But then things seem to be a little “off”.  Suddenly people know way too much about Emily’s pregnancy.  Neighbors start to disappear.  Emily finds a journal of the previous occupants of their home and the mystery builds.  As Michael, a writer of horror fiction, starts to put the pieces together with another person that is “new” to the town, the truth is finally uncovered.

I love the way this author provides tantalizing glimpses of the history of the town and their intentions, but in small enough bites to keep the reader turning the page.  When building up to the scorching conclusion, this book is a page turner.  An absolute thriller that keeps the reader engaged to the very last page.

I give this book a 4 star rating because of the way it is written, the concept and the creativity employed by the author throughout the book to keep the reader interested.

About the Reviewer:  Amanda was born in Texas, moved to Pittsburgh for 25 years, and now she’s back in the Lone Star State.  She has been a nurse for a decade.  She loves to read and will usually read anything.  She prefers to focus on self-published authors and may consider writing herself one day.  She is also a newlywed and a mom.  You can check out her work at the examiner.com and on her blog The Eclectic Bookworm.


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