Judith D Collins
By: Gina Wohlsdorf
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: 6/7/2016
My Rating: 3 Stars
The inventiveness of A Visit from the Goon Squad meets the down-the-rabbit-hole suspense of The Girl on the Train in this chilling, pulse-racing thriller from an electrifying new writer. When the gleaming new Manderley Resort opens in twenty-four hours, Santa Barbara's exclusive beachfront hotel will offer its patrons the ultimate in luxury and high-tech security. No indulgence has been ignored, no detail overlooked. But all the money in the world can't guarantee safety. As hotel manager Tessa and her employees ready the hotel for its invitation-only grand opening, a killer is in their midst. One by one, staff are picked off with ruthless precision. And before the night is over, as Tessa desperately struggles to survive, it will become clear that the strangest and most terrible truth at Manderley is simply this: someone is watching. With stunning ingenuity, Gina Wohlsdorf puts readers front and center as the elite resort becomes a house of horrors. Riveting to the final sentence,Security is fierce, wry, and impossible to put down. With a deep bow to the literary tradition of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier, Wohlsdorf's razor-wire prose blitzes readers with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is at once a shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a moving, multifaceted love story unlike any other.
A special thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Gina Wohlsdorf delivers a shocking contemporary debut SECURITY, a quirky mix of mystery, dark humor, madness, and horror; in the theme of Stephen King’s The Shining and Hitchcock —what lies behind the luxury well-appointed hotel? Safety. Luxury. Manderley.
The slogan that means whatever the prospective guest wants it to mean.
At Manderly Resort, time seems to stand still. Two miles of private California coastline await our guests. Forty-two acres of beautifully manicured grounds surround a lavish five-star hotel featuring 180 impeccably appointed rooms and 32 sumptuous suites. For the visitor craving the highest standards of comfort and privacy, two penthouses offer panoramic vistas of land and sea. Our one-acre pool is a self-sustaining marvel that none but Mother Nature could have designed. Our cuisine is 100 percent organic, locally sourced, and prepared with loving care by a staff of master chefs. Our nonpareil personal service begins the moment you step into our sun-drenched lobby and discover the opulence of Manderley. With top-tier amenities and a staff dedicated to satisfying your every wish,you may relax I perfect seclusion. Enjoy the musical rhythms of our six themed “after hours” bars, scuba dive and snorkel drive or night with a team of certified instructors, order from a personalized menu of in-room spa services nearly as varied as our selection of gourmet cuisine. Prepare to be embraced by luxury as you experience the freedom of maximum security and privacy. Leave the madness of your life behind. Escape to Manderely. -- The Destin Management Group
On the Santa Barbara beach, just visible from the Pacific Coast Highway an entrance to a grand resort, with opulent invitations arriving at the homes of LA’s elite for the upcoming grand opening. From ocean vistas and the utmost privacy and discretion. The background checks for employees are extensive. Charles Destin, owner of Destin Management Group, owner of Manderley Resort is all about parties. Destin’s father was a diplomat who died in a hotel in Sierra Leone because a waiter agreed to take a contrabrand tray to Lamount Destin’s room. The tray had a bomb. Charles was notified of his father’s death. He was ten years old. Tessa, the manager is busy trying to prepare for the Party of the Year, and short staffed. Her foster brother, (former boyfriend) Brian shows up suddenly after many years. The Killer is in Room 717. Donofrio Properties is the principal rival of Destin Management Group. Charles has long suspected Cameron Donofrio was infiltrating and sabotaging his properties. Was he paranoid? Employees begin to disappear. Murder. The safest hotel? A sophisticated security system. Who is watching? Are there rooms in Manderley Resort that do not have security cameras? Who will be killed next? Video surveillance tells the story. Voyeurism. From horror, dark humor, creepy, gory, sex, and a twist of Gothic, a clever quirky tale to keep readers entertained who enjoy this sort of cat and mouse romp. The strange narrator did not hook me and not a horror fan. Found it difficult to stay interested and rushing to get to the end. My take was like an unusual creepy quirky murder horror/slasher mystery, and would not classify as a thriller. Even though I am a consultant for luxury hotels was excited with the summary; however, unfortunately, Security, did not quite grab me. However, may appeal to a certain group of readers. The best part was the "hotel door" with the summary (quoted above).
Advance Praise “Grand Hotel meets Psycho in the age of surveillance: Gina Wohlsdorf's Security is cinematically vivid, crisply written, and sharp enough to cut. As the body count rises, the question becomes, just who is telling this story? Lee Child fans, in particular, will be able to appreciate how brilliantly Wohlsdorf subverts our expectations of the action genre in this smart, shocking, poignant thriller.” —Emily Croy Barker, author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic “Written in vivid and beautiful, nuanced language . . . Shocking and filled with Tarantino-ish dark humor . . . Like nothing else. Get ready.” —Ann Beattie, author of The State We're In “Original and imaginative . . . I predict Security will be this year's The Girl on the Train.” —Sandra Brown, author of Friction “Terrifying, sexy, dizzying, and impossible to look away from.” —Tim Johnston, author of Descent
About the Author
Gina Wohlsdorf was born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota. An insomniac in childhood, she crouched over her pink desk in the wee hours and wrote illustrated storybooks that no one but she could follow. Her father, a high school English teacher, began bringing Gina the novels he was teaching and giving her quizzes on the material to demonstrate to his students that an eleven-year-old girl could ace the tests they were failing. Once she got to high school, she attempted to write a novel and discovered, to her embarrassment, that she was still the only person who could follow it.
She triple majored at Tulane University. Following graduation, she lived in northern Florida, southern France, and Minnesota. She held a variety of jobs that afforded her time to write, including bookseller and massage therapist. She found, after two decades of trying, that her novels had begun to make sense. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She currently lives in Colorado. Read More