A secure community. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbors. What’s not to love?
When Claire and Sam Sturgis flee Washington D.C., they do so in search of a quieter way of life. Their quest takes them to a gated community nestled in the West Virginian countryside. The house itself is a dream: marble floors, a grand staircase, and a fully stocked wine cellar are just a few of its selling points. The best part? It’s priced about $200,000 below market.
Despite the home’s many advantages, Claire has her doubts about the move. However, Sam—a NASA engineer recently diagnosed with early-onset dementia—needs a break from the frenetic pace of Washington. And Frontier Village is just the antidote for a hectic lifestyle: with its quiet streets devoid of either cars or shouting children—or any children at all, for that matter—the small community is as different from Washington as one can get. Claire cannot deny that a little peace is necessary, for her as well as for Sam. Claire is not only wrestling with her husband’s future, she is also grappling with demons from her past. Furthermore, Life in their new home could provide her with the respite necessary to finally start her own PR agency.
But something is not quite right in Frontier Village, and as Claire tries to figure out exactly what is happening in this gated community, she feels her grip on sanity slipping further and further away. Is something wrong with the other residents, or is Claire losing her mind? And what is going on with Sam? Is his strange behavior due to dementia—or something more sinister? Readers will find themselves quickly turning the pages in order to learn the answers to these questions.
While GATED could benefit from another half chapter to fully develop the conclusion to the mystery at the heart of the novel, the plot’s hyper speed is a strength. Another is author J.D. Ventura’s prose, which is crisp and rockets off the page, taking readers along with it.
A taut, suspenseful thriller, GATED grips readers from its opening pages all the way to its shocking conclusion.
~Jennifer Noll for IndieReader