Wow. Gretchen McNeil knows how to set a creepy scene! The creepiness begins at the very start with the characters arriving on the island. From the description of the island itself, to the layout of White Rock House, Gretchen sets the scene and gears you up for this thriller!
TEN is told in the third person, focusing around Meg. At some point I wished it was told in the first person from Meg’s perspective, but looking back, overall, I don’t think it would have worked as well. Gretchen weaved a fantastic story full of suspense about ten characters trapped on an island that are killed one by one. I tried all along to keep track of them all and figure out who the killer was, but all my guesses were wrong. I didn’t know until the killer was revealed to the reader. The book is a re-telling of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie but I haven’t read the original so it was new and full of awesomesauce for me!
Let’s just go through the creepy factor checklist, shall we? TEN has them all.
- Isolated location, the island – check
- Creepy laid out house – check
- Cut off from the outside world (no phone or internet) – check
- No power – check
- A character with mental illness – check
- Boat house – check
I have to share my story of reading TEN… I was creeped out, unable to put it down at 1:30 AM, when the power went off. It came back on after a couple of minutes, but I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I was traveling at the time, staying with family… so I was in a strange house with strange noises. Then the power went out again, and I was in pitch darkness trying to forget that the characters had just found another body, and the windows we’d discovered unlocked that afternoon. All kinds of scenarios were running through my mind. The power came back on, and I thought I was OK, what are the chances it’d go out again? I’ll just finish this chapter and then I’ll go to sleep (or try to anyway). Yeah, no, that’s when the power went out for the third time! I’m not joking… but I kept on reading anyway (using my flashlight app when the power was out), I couldn’t put it down! My expression in the picture to the right pretty much sums up my experience… and it was awesome.
This was the book I didn’t even know I was waiting for! It’s full of delicious suspense, a heart-pounding climax, and storyline with characters that keep you guessing. If you’re a fan of creepy stories and thrillers, then you’ll love TEN.