Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Review of Vanished In The Dunes by Allan Retzky

Vanished In The Dunes – A Hampton Mystery By Allan Retzky

I read Vanished In The Dunes in one day.  The first few chapters did not pull me in; but I’d agreed to read the galley and write a review and wanted to give the story a chance. I’m glad I made the decision to keep reading.

Not to over simplify the premise – but this is essentially a tale of a chance encounter on a jitney to the Hamptons followed by a couple of unwise decisions complicated by an act of forgetfulness, the discovery of a dead body and then panic resulting in a series of misguided actions that leave the protagonist in a state of guilt, fear and a web of deceit and lies. This is a study of human nature wrapped in a thriller blanket.

The plot is convoluted but well woven.  It kept me guessing until the very end and actually beyond the last page. While I would be inclined to suggest the twists and turns in the story are improbable, I’ve come to see that life truly is more bizarre than fiction and that almost anything is possible. Bodies stay hidden in not so remote graves. Schizophrenics could get into medical school. Even with modern technology some police investigations are inept.

The characters, however, are not likeable. I felt no empathy or sympathy for any of the players. While I liked the book and thought the story was engaging, the participants in the narrative seemed two-dimensional.  This is a good read for the beach or an airplane.  On the mind candy scale I’d give it 3.5 Special Dark Chocolate Hershey’s Miniatures out of 5.

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