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    Gripping darkness with a new twist...

    A woman with terminal cancer decides to kill her stalker. That's the one-sentence description of Camela Thompson's All the Pretty Bones that raised my eyebrows and piqued my interest. Add a promise of vampires--non-sparkly ones at that--to the mix and I wanted to know more about this book. I was not disappointed. Olivia Kardos is a well-drawn heroine with the strength to face difficult decisions and situations, yet enough flaws to feel real. The glimpse Thompson gives us into the mind of Olivia's stalker is gripping, dark, and visceral, allowing the reader to understand him without sympathizing with his sadistic, controlling, sociopathic heart. The first chapter grabbed me so completely that I was a quarter of the way through the book before the end of my first reading session, and I swiftly picked it up again to plunge onward. That said, I did find the pace slowed a little more than I personally liked around the 2/3rds mark, but that's only a nitpick. Readers more familiar with this genre than I may feel differently, and enjoy the extra time spent with the characters. All the Pretty Bones has a complete story arc, but it's also the first in a series. Thompson manages to put an excellent new twist on the vampire legend that caught me by surprise a few times as I read. (One warning: Don't read the legend/appendix at the back of the book until after you finish, as it will spoil some things.) Thompson introduces some fantastic world-building that makes me eager to see where things go from here. Definitely worth a read if you like some supernatural darkness served alongside a modern thriller.
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