Title/Author: The Thirteen by Susie Moloney.
Publisher: William Morrow.
Favorite character: Paula and Rowan and of course the dogs Old Tex and Gusto.
All in all: Ultimately creepy.
Synopsis: Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing, and the crime rate is practically nonexistent.
Paula Wittmore hasn't been back to Haven Woods since she left as a disgraced teenager. Now she's returning to care for her suddenly ailing mother, and she's bringing her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She's also bringing, unknowingly, the last chance for her mother's closest frenemies . . . twelve women bound together by a powerful secret that requires the sacrifice of a thirteenth. ~Goodreads.com
My Thoughts: I took this out of the library because I read a few of the author's books a very long time ago. Plus the cover and the tagline had my spooky senses (which are kind of like Spidey senses) tingling.
At the beginning I was confused as to who the characters were and who was important. This quickly passed and I got into the groove of the book.
Ironically, this book reminded me of the audio book I was also listening to at the same time. It has similar elements. A family moves to town, strange things happen and the neighbors are not who they seem. Ironically, there is also a minor character in each book with the same name, Tansy. Now that is a unique name. It's not like it's John or something. Are the authors friends and did they conspire to do this? Or was it simply coincidence? This book is a bit over the top as well, but the difference between The Thirteen and The Night Strangers is that I believed this book more. The characters came alive for me and I connected with the main character Paula and even more so with her daughter Rowan. The main antagonist, Izzy, and how she came to be the villain is also quite interesting.
What I liked is that the events happen quickly. The story isn't slow and the pace moves along all the way to the last chapter. There are also a few mysteries in the story that are not told all at once or overdone. They are sprinkled in the story until the reader finally gets the entire picture. The story, while simple in its concept, has details that make the execution unique. It is told well and fun.
What I didn't love was the constant asides. There were asides in parenthesis and asides in italics. It's not a terrible style choice, it just is a bit distracting for me. There were several grammatical errors as well. I don't mind typos but if it happens too often in a book, I notice and it pulls me out of the story and makes me feel that someone wasn't paying attention.
If you're looking for a nice, creepy yet light read you may want to try this one out.