Without Curtains (2015) is the second book by Holly M. Campbell I’ve had the pleasure of reading. After thoroughly enjoying her debut, Foreshadowed, I was more than eager to get my hands on her newest release… and it did not disappoint! I inhaled this novel in a single day, because I was simply unable to set down my Kindle until every last unbelievably tantalizing mystery had been resolved.
Eighteen-year-old Rebecca is about to graduate high school when she receives the news: her estranged father has passed away. Mostly driven by an unexpected phone call from her big brother’s old childhood buddy, Troy, Rebecca decides to attend the funeral, even though she’s maintained no relationship with her dad over the years. And her big brother Jackson is clearly uneasy about returning her to her childhood home… where their mother was brutally murdered.
As aforementioned, I COULD NOT STOP reading this book. I had to know everything. There was so much to discover about every character, like Rebecca’s older sisters Linda and Marie, the charming Troy, and the interesting residents of the little farming town of Clayton Creek. What unfolds is not only a young woman’s journey to find closure and forgiveness with her very complex father after his death, not to mention a complicated but caring romance between her and Troy… but, mostly, a vengeful quest to uncover the “Shadow” entity that’s been stalking her, maybe even solving a fourteen-year-old murder mystery in the process. Together with Troy, Becca becomes intent upon finishing the work she learns her father had started, to find her mother’s assaulter and killer… which may also lead her to discovering who and what has been haunting her bedroom window and tormenting her with nightmares since childhood. I liked that the character of Troy was a psych major, and thus helped explain pertinent things to Becca (and the reader), such as dream interpretation and repressed memories. The murder mystery especially kept me swiping the e-pages, but I was also fascinated by Becca’s broken yet loving dysfunctional family as they coped with their father’s death, each in his or her own way.
If you like New Adult/Teen thrillers, nail-biting suspense, intriguing mystery, gentle romance, stories about families and realistic fiction, I enthusiastically suggest picking up Without Curtains. It actually reads a lot like a Sarah Dessen novel – Sarah Dessen, plus creepy murderer/stalker mystery- yes! Don’t hesitate; this is one great read.