Ketchum is a master storyteller. His subjects touch the very darkest parts of human nature. His prose and flow move quickly and the growing sense of dread and suspense are palpable. What starts off as a remembrance of childhood activities (sights, smells, feelings) quickly careens out of control and throws the reader deep into a horrible nightmare that sucks the air out of you like a punch in the stomach.
I was emotionally drained after reading this book. It makes me wonder how and why these things can and do happen. While this book is truly horrifying, somehow Ketchum does not take it and make it into a gore fest or torture porn merely for shock value, but keeps it so real (too real?) that you can actually smell the burning flesh within its pages. I don’t want to give this book 5 stars for some reason - and I am going to do it anyway. I’m glad I read it because it is written expertly with timing and skill. I’m also glad that it’s over.