There are books in the popular thriller genre that capture the reader right from the get go and don’t let go. Two Girls Down, by Louisa Luna, (which I recently reviewed) was such a book. There are others that sneak up on you, sort of like Freddy Krueger hiding in the basement. The Glass Forest, by Cynthia Swanson, started sloooooow, but once it grabbed me, I kept on reading to see what would happen next.
It’s 1960, and 21-year-old Angie Glass is happily married to her husband Paul. They have the perfect life in a small town in Wisconsin, and have recently been blessed by the birth of a baby boy.
One day, Angie answers the telephone. On the other line is Paul’s 17-year-old niece Ruby. She informs Angie that her father — Paul’s brother Henry — is dead, and that her mother Silja is missing. Angie and Paul rush to their home in upstate New York. Ruby has visions of helping a inconsolable teenager. Instead, upon their arrival, they find a mysterious and perfectly calm teenaged girl.
As the story unfolds, we learn that neither Henry nor Paul are exactly who they appear to be. Through flashbacks of Ruby’s mother Silja, it becomes clear that Ruby doesn’t know her husband at all.
The story unfolds slowly, and I found myself both intrigued and disturbed at the same time. But one thing was for certain; I was unable to stop reading in my desire to find out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I found I had to keep reminding myself that the story took place in 1960, which was why Angie was so meek and submissive to her husband. Still, the end of the story surprises the reader with the strength of the three women — Angie, Silja, and Ruby.
The Glass Forest was suitably creepy and readable.