by Sarah Langan
Review by Steve Sawicki
HarperTorch Mass Market ISBN/ITEM#: 006087290X
Date: 29 August, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Bedford, Maine is the kind of place that makes you wonder what people were thinking when they settled there. It rains--a lot, it has a bloody past based on industrial abuse, and it's most likely been seriously polluted by the paper mill which was the sole employer of the population until it shut down. The residents who are left wallow in self pity, alcohol abuse, depression and a sense of self defeat that is almost palpable. Susan Marley, once a beauty queen, seems to embody all of this. Abused, beaten, having fled home at 17, Susan now prostitutes herself for food and rent while the rest of the town watches with a morbid fascination. When Susan is found dead, the townspeople are both outraged and relieved. When Susan begins appearing in their dreams, the feelings turn to horror, for it seems that Susan may be dead but she's not gone. In fact, she's waiting for something, something that promises redemption and an end--to everything. From official release/information:
Book Description: Some believe Bedford, Maine, is cursed. Its bloody past, endless rain, and the decay of its downtown portend a hopeless future. With the death of its paper mill, Bedford's unemployed residents soon find themselves with far too much time to dwell on thoughts of Susan Marley. Once the local beauty, she's now the local whore. Silently prowling the muddy streets, she watches eerily from the shadows, waiting for . . . something. And haunting the sleep of everyone in town with monstrous visions of violence and horror.
Those who are able will leave Bedford before the darkness fully ascends. But those who are trapped here-from Susan Marley's long-suffering mother and younger sister to her guilt-ridden, alcoholic ex-lover to the destitute and faithless with nowhere else to go-will soon know the fullest and most terrible meaning of nightmare.