Sunday, 22 May 2011

Book Review: The Skull Ring by Scott Nicholson

The Skull RingThis is the first of the author's books I have read, although he has several books. It is described as a psychological thriller which appealed to me. Scott is another author I have found thanks to kindle broadening my horizons.

Julia Stone has moved to a small Appalachian town to try and find some peace. She is haunted by the disappearance of her father when she was just 4 years old. With the help of therapist Dr Forrest she is uncovering disturbing memories of that night and is struggling to keep panic attacks and paranoia under control. The memories evoke images of satanic rituals. Strange things start to happen in her home and she starts to question her sanity but when she returns to her old family home she finds a skull ring with an engraving "Judas Stone" that seems to be solid proof of what she's remembering.

This book made me feel really uncomfortable and on-edge, and I felt so sorry for Julia struggling to make sense of what is happening to her. Was she the victim of a satanic cult, is she being pursued by that same cult now or is her therapist planting false memories under hypnotherapy with some ulterior motive? Julia also has to contend with an unsympathetic fiance who seems to have an agenda of his own. Until close to the end I was as unsure as Julia of who she could trust and what secrets really lay in her past.

At one point I found myself drifting a bit but as the story picked up pace I was pulled into it more. I also found Julia almost irritatingly childish in places, although I suppose this was intentional as she becomes more and more needy being dragged back to her childhood repeatedly by her therapist. It didn't stop me rooting for her through. My main gripe would be the ending which I found a bit trite and not entirely satisfying. However as a psychological thriller it gave me what I expected, a tense read, and I had no complaints on the proofing and formatting front. I'll definitely be looking at other books by the author.

Format: Kindle, bought by me
My Rating: 3*


Cozy in Texas said...

Thanks for the review. The cover doesn't seem to illustrate the story - or is it just me?

TC said...

Funny enough I was going to mention that but couldn't find a good place to fit it. You're right, I can't figure out how it relates to the story.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I was expecting something different because of the cover. Great review :)