Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Suspense / Horror
Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES Paper: YES
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Daniel Pyle lives with his wife and two daughters in Southwestern Missouri. In addition to Dismember he has two shorter works (novella or novelette size), Down the Drain and the just released Freeze available for your Kindle. He also has short stories in multiple anthologies. For more, visit his website.
A car accident the summer of Dave Abbot’s seventh birthday kills the rest of his family. Rescued at the accident scene by a warped backwoodsman, he grows up a virtual prisoner. It is now twenty-three years later and Dave is finally free. He sets out to recreate the family he lost, but those who stand in proxy for his long-departed loved ones are not volunteering.
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember if I’ve ever read something like this before. I think I must have, but nothing comes to mind. Dismember was presented as suspense, and it has all the elements of a suspense novel, yet it also has a horror element I wasn’t anticipating. This is similar to the way J.A. Konrath mixes a little horror into his police procedurals in the Jack Daniels series. I’d have guessed I wouldn’t like this combination. Not the first time I’ve been wrong.
Pyle also strayed from the stereotypical in his characterization, making the villain sympathetic. I wanted him captured before anyone (or anyone else) was hurt. There was no excuse for his actions, yet I couldn’t help feeling compassion for him.
Pyle’s writing style is entertaining and at times amusing as I wondered, “How did he come up with that line.” One of my favorites was describing a mountain road as, “curvier than a Parkinson’s patient’s question mark.” Another time one of the characters was risking an injury to her hand, “not thinking website design might be a little tricky with only a left paw and a mangled claw.”
The story is action packed and never bogs down. A typical suspense novel slowly builds tension over the course of the story, peaking near the end. Dismember builds to a peak, then backs off and lets the tension build again as it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion.
No significant issues
Rating: ***** Five stars