Wow, it's been a while. Spring is a busy time, and I started a bunch of books and then put them aside to read for book club. So it's been a while since I finished something. Also, I have some Big Things I want to talk about--Buffy! Comics!--some vast, sweeping subjects that have been quite intimidating when I sit down to them.
So let's start out with a little rant. Lianna, this one's for you.
I read this book about three years ago. I'm going to give away the entire plot, so I'm not going to give the title of the book, but it's got enough searchable keywords that you'll have no problem finding it if you want to. I can't believe, looking back, that I gave it two stars--it speaks to something that it made enough sense at the time that I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
But last week, I suddenly thought of this book, and I started laughing. For two days, every few hours I'd belt out a laugh at how ludicrous the whole damned thing was. A girl is at a gas station and she sees a guy in a full-on rabbit costume kidnap a kid from the back of a car where she's waiting for her mom. Now, it turns out that this girl just HAPPENS to have a traumatic childhood memory that is at least loosely associated with a man in a full-on rabbit costume, as well as a best friend from childhood who disappeared when she was young. So this is a mind-blowing experience for her, and she gets involved in the investigation.
First off, let's think about how preposterous that is. I mean, on one hand, if you're going to kidnap a kid, there's no better way to hide your appearance than a complete body costume. On the other, in a small town, how hard can it be to track down the guy who owns or rents a rabbit costume? And then, I'll point out that the fact that the witness is childhood-bunny-memory-girl is a complete coincidence, not some sort of gaslighting psychological torture on the poor girl. So, this small town is pretty messed up, right?
Okay, so that's one level of ridiculous. Now let me tell you the big reveal at the end. Because when it's revealed as a twist, it's kind of shocking, but when you think about it as something that was lived through, you're like, WHAT?!?
So the wife of the convenience store owner had a best friend who disappeared when she was a small child. Apparently, this messed her up royally because now, 40 years later, she felt the burning psychological need to get involved in a missing person investigation. So she had her nephew come kidnap a kid as a harmless prank. All in good fun, right? Why did he wear the rabbit suit? Well, because kidnapping a kid in a rabbit suit is a good plan.
Now, he was supposed to just take her across town and hide her at a campsite for a day or so. Then auntie could come out as the hero. But the kid panics in the car and there's a kerfuffle that ends with her falling out of the car on the highway and DYING. Because apparently kidnapping someone for kicks is not as frigging foolproof as you might think. So the dude hides the body and then shows up to help with the search like nothing happened.
In the meantime, in a startling demonstration of Ebert's Law of Economy of Characters, he spends a couple hundred pages being a love interest for the girl who was traumatized by a guy in a rabbit suit years ago. If only there was a layer of meaning about how she's being haunted by the rabbit suit. If only it made any sense at all!
Anyway, I got a laugh out of that book, many years later. But I somehow can't bear to put the title, and I really think it's because I'm afraid the author will Google herself and find this and be really hurt. That's a pretty thin protection I'm leaving, isn't it? Eh, well. It's not a very good book.