Sketch is the fifth work I’ve read from Didi Oviatt. It tells the story of a group of young adults in Montana in the early/mid 20th century, just on the border of historical fiction for me — a perfect blend of setting, scenery, and the past. I’d consider it a lengthy novella that reads quite quickly, perhaps 2 hours on average. The kids are young, poor, and in need of guidance. They live off the land, have troubles with their parents, and refuse to admit their feelings for one another. It is, after all, nearly 80 years ago when life was quite different. Then… the serial killings start happening again.
Michael and John are brothers. They are raw, rugged, and tough. But not as much as Chloe, Michael’s secret crush. In a fairly opening scene, she kills, skins, cooks, and eats a snake. Steven enters the picture, and he’s a bit aloof. We know John has a thing for Misty, but when her father comes looking for revenge, readers learn Misty has gone missing. Is one of the group responsible? The sheriff and a few other law protectors get involved, then we start seeing the violence happening in this very tiny town which doesn’t even show up on a map. Now that’s the way to start telling a gory story – all the essentials for a dramatic confrontation and fearful denouement.
We’re quickly dropped into the scary search for Misty. When we find her body, scattered and dismembered, you know for certain — without a doubt — you’ve entered the world of Didi Oviatt’s marvelous imagination. In most of her previous works, readers are treated to that criminally insane killer who thirsts for blood. But she pushes it even further this time when we watch the visceral murder scene of two characters — one we could’ve guessed, another that was a shock. Oviatt clearly shows us why her antagonist stayed in hiding since the killings began over a decade ago. How could anyone not figure it out? Clever is her killer who knows what not to say.
When I pick up an Oviatt book, I’m guaranteed a thrilling adventure / killing spree with the finest finesse and balance of drama, dialog, and murder during the high points. You swiftly turn the pages. You briefly skim something that seems non-essential because you just HAVE TO FIND OUT what’s happening, then you’re forced with your tails between your legs to return because you know you missed a clue five lines earlier. Don’t do it! Read every word and enjoy the boiling as it explodes. Unfortunately, it’s so good that it’s too hard to slow down; she makes you thirst like the killer for your own solution.
Add to it, in this case, a setting when there were no cars in Montana, people took the law into their own hands, and murders went unsolved for longer periods of time. Wow, this was a ride. And what the killer keeps in his/her little jar of mementos is sickening. But of course, it’s brilliant. I enjoyed this latest edition from Oviatt’s startlingly vivid imagination. I’ve got one more book to finish reading all of her work, and I’m very curious to see how it compare — it’s a different genre, so that’ll be something to look forward to this fall. Congrats on another winner!
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.