Ranalli & Clayton
When five lifelong friends with an incredible birthright, and their old town, already harboring secrets of its own, becomes overrun by new wealth after the ancient asylum closes for good, a chain of events are set in motion and no one is safe from what’s to come.
On the outside, Michelle and Jen appear to have everything going for them, including their three best friends; however, appearances aren’t everything.
When Brody and his spoiled friends play a cruel joke on one of the towns less fortunate the five friends devise a plan to get revenge. Once everything is almost set, a greater evil emerges, one that cannot be ignored.
Are Michelle and Jen manipulating the others, herding them like sheep to the slaughter? Or is this a twisted game where something much more sinister is taking place?
With tension rising and madness taking hold, can these friends keep it together, or will one crack under the pressure? After all blood, death and secrets always have repercussions.
Michelle led the way as Jen followed behind her silently. Their spot in the woods was ironically close to the back side of the asylum, whether consciously or unconsciously Michelle led them right down the fastest path which landed them right behind the burnt wing.
Michelle turned to look at Jen. They had always been so close that they never needed words to communicate before; so, Michelle didn’t think she needed to start changing things now. If something was off Michelle was sure Jen would tell her. She stepped aside and let Jen take the lead. Michelle followed her friend through the large, broken-down backside of the building and into an area that somehow survived the flames.
Michelle needed to break the silence that had now become awkward, half joking she said, “I’ve always wondered why they referred to this building for the criminally insane as a ward in the infamous “”Sawsville asylum for the severely mentally ill”.”
“Yeah, and then they went and changed it to “Sawsville Estates: A home with Extra Care”,” Jen said with a smile on her face.
Victory. At least she is speaking normally again.
Jen continued to walk, her head down and the smile gone.
I guess that victory celebration was a little too soon.
Jen navigated her way through the broken doors and windows that separated various sections of the building like she was on a mission to reach a particular place and fast. Michelle knew this building like she knew her own home, but a gut instinct told her Jen knew it better than she should. As usual, Michelle’s gut was right, Jen knew exactly where she was leading her best friend.
Jen pushed through a rusted door and sat on a melted metal bed. She looked over at Michelle and asked in a creepy whisper,
“Do you know where we are, Michelle?”
Michelle knew exactly where they were. Chills ran up her spine, she wanted to grab Jen’s hand and leave.
Forcing more confidence into her voice then she felt, Michelle said, “Yeah, Jen, I know where we are. We are in his cell. But what I don’t know, is why?”
Jen seemed to be annoyed by Michelle’s response. She let out a slight groan and stated in a very matter of fact way,
“This is where he comes. Every night he is here, sleeping! He thinks I don’t know, but I do. Look around.” Jen spread her arms wide.
“You can’t lie to me anymore, Michelle. You can’t try to make me think I’m going crazy. I know the truth,” Jen started to cry, “I’ve been right all along. Damn it. I’ve been right all this time. He had never died. He has been living here the whole time.”
Michelle stared at Jen, not saying a word.
As the silence stretched, Jen became more agitated.
“Michelle, why are you not saying anything? Don’t you get it? The man that murdered my sister isn’t dead. Or gone. He is still here and I know that you know it too.”
Michelle was in shock, she didn’t know what to say, or how to say it.
Does the truth always set you free, or is that just a saying? Michelle wondered before finally speaking. She chose her words carefully.
“Oh Jen, I know you’re not crazy. He was gone, I came here a lot. In fact, for years this is where I’d wake up, with no idea how I got here. I’ve never told anyone, but I’ve been sleepwalking a lot since….well, since I found Jess. It’s happening more recently. But Jen, you have to believe me when I say I didn’t know he was back until a few days ago. That’s all I know.”
Michelle, being superstitious, put her hands behind her back and crossed her fingers as she lied to her best friend.
A fast packed action filled story about five friends who believe themselves to be protecting their small town from some new kids who have harmed some of the other local kids. But one of the members of their group is hiding a dark family secret that if uncovered would cost alot of problems. I really enjoyed this book and I was pleasantly surprised that Michelle and her group of friends were kinda what you would call the good kids. This story is really dark and I loved reading every minute of it. Keeping my fingers crossed part two is out soon. As the story leaves you at a good place. Reviewed by Jennifer