Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Someone at the Door by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Released: October 1994

Richie Tankersley Cusick, RL Stine, and Christopher Pike are the authors I lived for between the ages of nine and 12. During those years, I devoured everything in print by these authors. Their style was spooky and edgy, and the mysteries were great! I think toward the end of my twelfth year when I was about to turn 13, I graduated to Dean Koontz, John Saul, and Stephen King, and never looked back...until recently.

I don't quite remember how Someone at the Door came to reside on my bookshelf. I never read this one since it was published after I stopped reading these "teen thrillers," so I figured I would read it for nostalgic purposes. I've been holding on to it for several years only because the cover features a snowman -- I wanted to save it for winter reading.

Needless to say, the effects of these novels are still going strong decades later. My prediction about the murderer was completely wrong and I was caught off guard, which is exactly why I remember loving these novels in the first place.

A murderer is on the loose!

Teenage sisters Hannah and Meg are stranded at their home for a few days due to an unexpected snowstorm. Their parents are out of town, and won't be back until the snow lets up. As the sisters are listening to the radio to learn more about upcoming weather conditions, the news reveals that a crazy, mass-murderer lunatic has escaped a nearby prison and is on the loose. Later that night, two mysterious young men knock on the sisters' door, claiming that they are injured and stranded, and need help and a place to stay.

Hesitant at first to let the men in, Hannah and Meg eventually give in, and provide them with food and shelter. Over the course of the next few days, the family dog goes missing, Hannah's clothing is found torn to shreds, and Meg's favorite teddy bear has been stabbed through the heart. The sisters then ask themselves: Are they harboring a mass murderer in their home?

A classic, timeless read

I read Someone at the Door from front to back last night. These books definitely pass the "timeless" test, which means you can read them years later and they don't seem ancient or outdated. I love that there are no mobile phones; just a case of old-fashioned "the-phone-lines-went-dead-in-the-middle-of-a-snowstorm" blues for these sisters.

I also love that this novel tricked me. Sometimes, I like to refer to myself as a "professional plot predictor" when it comes to novels, movies, and television shows, but I epically failed at being able to predict this one. The three hours I spent with this book were definitely three hours well spent.

Are you a fan of Richie Tankersley Cusick? If so, what are your favorite novels by this author?

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