Reviews for Hurt

Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #1
Teenager Chris Buckley makes his stand in the town of Solitary in the fourth and final book in Thrasher's (Temptation, 2012) Christian-oriented Solitary Tales series. After leaving his father's home in Chicago, Chris returns to the strangeness of Solitary, N.C.--confronting disturbing visions, a lifelike mannequin that looks like a deceased former friend and continuing threats against the life of his mother, Tara Kinner. Although Chris wants to save his mother, he has no idea where she is; meanwhile, evil town patriarch Ichor Staunch informs Chris that, although Staunch can't kill him, he can still hurt him in numerous ways. Staunch and others seek to manipulate, threaten and frighten Chris into renouncing God and coming over to their side before the ailing head of the Kinner clan, Walter Kinner, makes his exit; the date is set for Chris to officially become part of the Kinner clan on Memorial Day. Chris' emotionally wounded Uncle Robert notes that the Kinner clan sees Chris as "their Luke Skywalker." Chris also grows closer to sweet Kelsey Page and her loving family; he begins attending her church, which--unlike that of demented local pastor Jeremiah Marsh--is founded on Christian principles. Gradually, Chris' belief in God deepens. However, Chris can't shake the feeling that he's risking Kelsey's life by associating with her. Meanwhile, an FBI agent arrives to investigate the disappearance of Jocelyn Evans--from the series' first book, Solitary (2010)--who was ritualistically sacrificed about a year ago. Other characters from past books reappear, including Poe, Jared and Newt, to address past plot points; Thrasher also adds the 42-year-old, 250-pound Mounds, a lively, hippie-ish ghost hunter who hires Chris as his assistant. The author skillfully depicts the horror of living in creepy Solitary as Chris works to ensure his own safety and that of his loved ones. Throughout, the author gently leads the reader toward a conclusion that hints of hope and a vital transformation to come. A fine, fitting end to a soulful series. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #3

Thatcher (Ghostwriter) knows how to scare in the conclusion to the four-part Solitary Tales, set in Solitary, N.C., where teenage Chris Buckley and his mother, Tara, have moved after she and Chris's father divorced. Solitary is Tara's hometown, and it's also home to some buried family history and creepy characters. Chris slowly puts together that history and sees just what kind of demonic forces he is up against. A girlfriend adds complexity and hormonal electricity; eccentric minor characters provide comic relief and a change of pace. It doesn't all add up (a few of the adult characters require more than the usual suspension of disbelief already operating in tales of horror), and it's too indulgently long. But Thatcher's dialogue crackles, his suspense grabs readers, and his portrayal of teen angst is persuasive. He deserves wider recognition. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)

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