Top positive review
6 of 6 people found this helpful
Beautiful, Dark, and Misinterpreted
on January 8, 2002
It seems that this gorgeous book has been marketed totally incorrectly. The cover makes it look like a cheesy thriller, so people who want a fast, mindless read pick it up and get bogged down by the psychological depth, mythical dimension, and gothic aesthetic. Andrew Pyper's book is a portayal of the darkness within a man's soul and man's connection between darkness and feminity, both holding fascination as well as horror. It is about the female aspect of a man's psyche coming up to haunt him because it was repressed for too long, taking on the form of ghosts, teenage girls, and strippers. It is about females in society also, and the way they are percieved and treated by the males who desire and fear them. Women represent certain psychological aspects of men, and in the book they take on mythical, archetypal roles. The symbolism of the lake around which the book revolves, of evil lurking beneath the surface of the water, is another representation of the murky, dark, psychological depths of man, which also correlates to women's sexuality. The main character is impotent and obsessed with young girls, and has a boyhood secret he has never been able to get over or deal with. The town he goes to in order to defend a man accused of killing two teenage girls also has a dark secret in its past: the townsmen got together and purposefully drowned a woods-dwelling prostitute they all had slept with, because they became afraid of and disgusted by her. It is a very timeless theme of literature and Andrew Pyper has a fresh, eerie take on it. Please do not underestimate this book, and do not read it if you want a formulaic, whodunit type thriller. "Whodunit" is not remotely the point in this book.