Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain ~ Sarah A’s Review

A stand-alone psychological thriller.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.

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Gun Shy is twisted and dark.  And sickening.  And I loved it.  It is absolutely not for the faint of heart, not for lovers of sweet romantic love stories, not for people with delicate sensibilities.  This is a book for the people who seek the darkest corners, who are driven by revenge and have a fascination with things good girls shouldn’t enjoy.  This book fed into the blackest, bleakest parts of my psyche and satisfied them in a way few things are able.

I said I love this book, but I think I might hate it also.  I’m not sure.  Honestly, I’m not sure of anything right now.  I don’t know if I was supposed to love any of the characters or hate them.  And I definitely feel both ways about most of them.  Every feeling I had while I was reading this book was warped and stretched and transformed into something else.  I don’t trust anything I thought I knew about Gun Creek or its residents.

Cassie’s story is not romantic, even the love she feels is not romantic.  Her love is tainted, broken, deranged.  Her life molded by some of the most horrific things a person can experience.  She took those traumas and honed them into something sharp and unfathomable.  I found her to be so intriguing, so irresistible; I wonder if a little of Cassie doesn’t live inside of me.

When I think back and ask myself if there is anything more I would have liked from this story, I’m hard-pressed to commit to anything.  Would I have loved to have seen a more complete conclusion to a couple of storylines? Yes.  Do I think that the ambiguity of those storylines was intentional? Yes.  This book isn’t a romance and shouldn’t be treated as such.  Those storylines played their parts, and when they’d moved the characters to the place they were supposed to be, they were left as they should have been.

Despite many recommendations from my friends, this is the first book I’ve read by Lili St. Germain, and she blew me away.  From stylistic formatting choices, to interesting imagery, to the intricate and demanding prose she wrote with, I appreciated the outside the box approach she took when writing Gun Shy.  Ms. St. Germain challenged me with this book, it was not an easy book to read, and I admire her for testing me with it.

After reading this entire book, I’m stunned.  Just astonished by every single part of it.  I am sure that I will keep thinking about Gun Creek and Cassie and Damon and Leo and everyone in this book for some time to come.  The experience of this book was so delightfully unsettling; I have plenty of material to ruminate on for ages.

 

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

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