Weekend Getaway

February 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, )

weekendWeekend Getaway by Tom Deady

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I first heard of Tom Deady through Cemetery Dance, when they published his first novel, Haven. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s received a lot of praise, and since I have a lot of other books at the front of my reading list, I thought it might be worth reading one of his shorter works before I get around to that novel. Weekend Getaway was that work, a novella about a weekend getaway to a mountain cabin that goes awry.

To start with, it feels like Deady is channeling Jack Ketchum here, as the story develops into a The Girl Next Door sort of story. The problem is that Jack Ketchum is about the best at writing these kinds of stories, and Weekend Getaway lacks a certain touch that Ketchum brings to his works. Ketchum manages to have us understand his antagonists, even if we don’t agree with them, but the antagonist in Deady’s story is just a psychopath, full stop. He makes an attempt to give him depth, but instead turns him into a cliche, and since the entire story is balanced on the antagonist, the whole novella feels cliched.

It seems like a disservice to compare the story to Ketchum, but it feels so much like a Ketchum premise that it’s hard not to. Had I not read all of Ketchum’s works a few years ago, I might have been able to appreciate this a bit more, but the problems with the antagonist still stand. Readers who have yet to discover Ketchum might enjoy this story, but honestly, I’d recommend they read The Girl Next Door instead and skip this one entirely.

To Deady’s credit, he tells a good tale that moves swiftly, and progresses naturally, enough so that I’m still looking forward to Haven. Had I not already bought that book, I might not have felt the urge to move on to it after finishing Weekend Getaway, but the timing worked out in his favor here. Maybe I’ll even get to it this year!

Started: December 20, 2017
Finished: December 20, 2017

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