Book Review: Snow Escape by Roberta Goodman

ebook: 241 Pages

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Write Words, Inc.

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Set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, Snow Escape is the story of one woman’s innocent foray into the world of online dating turned deadly.

Allegra Maxwell is a 30-year old, single school teacher looking for love. Having chosen to use the Internet to meet the opposite sex, she encounters an articulate, prospective beau on the night the biggest blizzard in history is blanketing the Big Apple. Their pleasant conversation soon turns sinister when she discovers that “Charles” has been stalking her for weeks and claims he lives in her building. With threats of destroying her little by little are made, Allegra must stay one step ahead of the mind games. Turning to neighbors for help, tragic consequences ensue. When her sanity is questioned, because the online evidence her stalker exists disappears, Allegra must prove he does exist and she isn’t losing her mind. When a power outage thrusts her into darkness, will she be able to overcome the helplessness she feels? Placed in a situation that’s spiraling totally out of her control, while trapped in her apartment building with no escape, will she survive until the authorities can reach her?

Snow Escape  is exactly the kind of novel I think would make a great thriller. Something like The Resident, if that movie were half decent.

Allegra, the main character, is a school teacher who lives in Brooklyn, NYC. Even when she was being whiny, I liked her. Because as annoying as her lamentations were, she’s was a very real, fleshed-out character. A lonely woman, innocent and a bit too naive for her own good, with insecurities and problems just like anyone else. And when push came to shove, she stopped complaining and started doing.  She didn’t roll over and die and I liked that.

Just saying, but if trying to reconnect with your one lost love one more time, and calling him a couple of times after a break-up, is considered stalking, then..uhm..I’m resident No.1 of Stalkerville. Anyhoo.

I think I’ve pretty much established by now I’m a fan of strong, badass heroines. I’m also a fan of believability and she had it.

The mystery started out slow, with a run down of Allegra’s life up to the point of the story, her history with different people, her past relationship. It took a while until things started happening, but the delay was necessary in making a three-dimensional, realistic character. You get to see where she’s coming from and how she got there.

I liked the use of the third person narrative, rather than first person, and the psychological torture instead of physical. That’s exactly why I think Snow Escape makes for a perfect book adaptation. The use of the psychological terror gives the atmosphere a creepy, arguably annoying, feel.

I say annoying because plots like these are like a two-edged sword for me. On one hand, they make me want to bite someone in the face, for I have never assimilated the concept of delayed gratification. On the other hand, the mystery and wondering of who the bad guy might be, keeps me reading, no matter what. I’ll turn blue in the face, sputtering profanities because no one believes the MC even though CLEARLY she’s right, but I’ll keep reading because I HAVE to know.

I liked the build-up of tension, the different POVs that provided with a whole view of the events. However, the transition from one POV to another wasn’t smooth enough. It could have been better. Same with switching from Allegra’s inner dialogue to the narrative, it was choppy.

I would have enjoyed more showing rather than telling and I also noticed a couple of  punctuation and writing/repetitive problems. Rookie mistakes and nothing that can’t ultimately be fixed.

I found the change from a mystery, with Allegra as its focus, to a detective story, interesting and reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel.

All in all, with all its faults, I enjoyed the novel and thought it was good, for a debut. It’s interesting, captivating and, even with the slow start (which was necessary, if you ask me ), it’s still an easy, entertaining read.

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