Review: The Grove

The Grove
The Grove by John Rector
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There’s potential here–the writing style itself is pretty clean and the setting is evocative enough–but unfortunately this story suffers from a character continually doing the wrong thing for moderately inexplicable reasons. The plot is simple enough: a man, who should be taking medication for some kind of schizophrenic disorder, has gone off the pills. One morning, he wakes up to find his wife gone and a dead body out in his field. He can’t remember the fight with his wife, which apparently was pretty bad, nor can he be quite sure he didn’t murder the teenage girl. He chooses not to report the body, and the rest of the book concerns his modest investigation into what happened to her. I found the choice there hard to take; why, after continually blacking out and being so afraid that you’re doing terrible things, do you not either 1.) start taking your pills, or 2.) turn yourself in? The resolution of the plot also left me cold. The ending was far too simple. I’d love it if there was more adventure in a self-published work; why be so cookie-cutter when you have the freedom to do whatever you like? Still, it’s a short, to-the-point thriller, modest in its goals, and at times effective.

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