Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dismantled-Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon
Harper, Jun 16 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780061689338

While attending Sexton College in Vermont the four students became best friends; forming the Compassionate Dismantlers. Now graduated, they live together in a remote cabin where they go forth committing bodacious harmful acts that increasingly are out of control. However, when their leader Suz Pierce dies during a stunt, the three survivors dismantle their group.

A decade later, two of the members Henry DeForge and Tess Kahle remain married but separated while raising their nine-year-old daughter, Emma. The suicide of a friend from college leaves Henry and Tess fearful that their motto Dismantlement Equals Freedom" will destroy them especially since a private investigator digs into the past. Emma tries to bring her parents back together, but that leads instead to the revival of the Compassionate Dismantlers.

DISMANTLED is an intelligent fascinating character-driven thriller that rotates between the present and ten years ago. The cast in both decades are strong though unlikable so that the reader sees what motivated the Compassionate Dismantlers and what drives Henry, Tess and Emma; the melancholy child steals the show with her sad outlook of a bleak future. Filled with eerie but plausible twists and spins, fans of something different will relish this wild roller coaster ride.

Harriet Klausner