Monday, July 5, 2010

Book eview - Dismantled: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon

Title: Dismantled: A Novel 
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Year: 2009
Page: 304
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Possibly
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
"The New York Times" bestselling author of the acclaimed "Island of Lost Girls" and "Promise Not to Tell" returns with a chilling novel in which the secrets of the past come back to haunt a group of friends in terrifying ways. Dismantlement = Freedom. Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto--"To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart"--these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up. Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour's drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide--apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard--it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma. Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die--or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge? Full of white-knuckle tension with deeply human characters caught in circumstances beyond their control, Jennifer McMahon's gripping story and spine-tingling plot prove that she is a master at weaving the fear of the supernatural with the stark realities of life.

First Sentence:
"Dismantlement equals freedom."
Why did I pick this book?
I was attracted by its cover while browsing the new books section in the library. Picked it up, and the premise sounded interesting. Never heard of this book or author before. Of course, when I did a search for blog reviews, this book was on a blog book tour not too long ago! I must have missed reading those reviews... I used to read A LOT of murder/mystery/thrillers before expanding my reading genre. Haven't read any for a while so I was looking forward to it.

My thoughts:
  • I liked that the story kept you guessing until the end. It spoiled the fun of reading a mystery when you figured out the puzzles way too early!
  • There were some riddles in the book which I thought was fun (I'd put them in the quotes below)
  • I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters though. They weren't very likable, even the little girl... 
  • I thought the cover was well done - creepy, which reflected the book well. As mentioned, it definitely got my attention.
    • One thing that really bugged me was one character kept using the word "babycakes". I was ready to scream if I saw it one more time! I know the author was just trying to build the character, but still, it was WAY over used...
    • I think the book could also have been shorter, and yet not lose the story. 


      "To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart," (p2)

      Riddles from the book:

      1) What is dark but made out of light?
      Shadow (p85)

      2) What do you destroy when you speak its name?

      Silence (p133)

      3) What is coming, but will never arrive?
      Tomorrow (p135)

      4) You are in a cement room with no windows or doors. Just four walls. There's a mirror and a table. How do you get out?

      You look in the mirror to see what you saw. You use the saw to cut the table in half. You put the two halves together to make a whole. You crawl through the whole and escape (p170-171)
      Rating: 3.5 Stars

      Have you read this book? 
      If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

      100+ Reading


      1. Oh I love the riddles, cute.

        I have this authors Promise not to Tell which I haven't read it. If I enjoy it I will try this one.

      2. Sounds like an interesting one! I've never heard of it!