The Compulsive Reader: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

When Meg and Minnie are invited to a weekend getaway at a classmate’s secluded beach house on Henry Island, they're expecting an illicit weekend of fun and no adult supervision. But things are weird from the start—their hostess never shows, and a freaky homemade DVD unsettles everyone on the first night. As a major storm rages outside, suddenly people in their party start ending up dead, and weird slash marks in the entryway indicate that this is no accident. Meg doesn't want to believe that the killer is Minnie, her slightly unhinged best friend, or her long-time crush TJ, but it's rapidly becoming apparent that the killer is one of them…

Gretchen McNeil's Ten is a creepy and intense thriller with plenty of twists and a heap of suspense. The story is told from the point of view of Meg, who is an admirable protagonist dealing with an unhealthy friendship with her best friend Minnie. Right away readers can tell that it is a sticky situation, and Meg is in the unenviable position of having to placate Minnie at the risk of her other relationships and her own happiness. McNeil does a good job at balancing out Meg's drama with Minnie and their past issues with their present at the beach house, the dynamics between the other eight guests, some of whom the girls know and some of whom are strangers, and the steadily building sense of dread caused by the creepy atmosphere. Once the murders begin, the book is constantly moving, hurdling to a surprising and dramatic ending. Ten has all of the classic elements—a killer bent on revenge, a tentative romance, secret identities, and hidden diaries—that make it a harrowing but deliciously dark read. A few of the plot elements do require a slight stretch of the imagination, but overall McNeil has written a creative and immersive read that will have you racing to the end.

Cover Comments: I love, love, love the creepiness of this cover! The red of the title really stands out against the dark blue of the island, ocean, and the sky. It's so lonely and foreboding. I adore it.

ARC picked up at BEA.

This one will be out on September 18th, 2012!


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Excited to see a review of this as I love the original Christie novel and have been wanting to know how things are twisted to make a new story.

Anonymous said...

It does sound and look very, very creepy!
:) Like a scary movie!
I'm really intrigued! thanks for the review.

Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) said...

This book looks sooooo good! I'm always on the lookout for a good, creepy read -- and one that sounds like it's based on Agatha Christie? It's gotta be good!

Great review!

Mary Preston said...

I have TEN on my reading list. I love any book that reminds me of a great Agatha Christie read.