Thursday, November 11, 2021

Review: Where They Wait by Scott Carson

Author: Scott Carson
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 2021

Recently laid-off from his newspaper and desperate for work, war correspondent Nick Bishop takes a humbling job: writing a profile of a new mindfulness app called Clarity. It’s easy money, and a chance to return to his hometown for his first visit in years. The app itself seems like a retread of old ideas—relaxing white noise and guided meditations. But then there are the “Sleep Songs.” A woman’s hauntingly beautiful voice sings a ballad that is anything but soothing—it’s disturbing, really, more of a warning than a relaxation—but it works. Deep, refreshing sleep follows.

So do nightmares. Vivid and chilling, they feature a dead woman who calls Nick by name and whispers guidance—or are they threats? And soon her voice follows him long after the song is done. As the effects of the nightmares begin to permeate his waking life, Nick makes a terrifying discovery: no one involved with Clarity has any interest in his article. Their interest is in him. Because while he might not have any memory of it, he’s one of twenty people who have heard this sinister song before and the only one who is still alive.

Where They Wait was a weird read for me.  It was slightly better than The Chill which I gave two stars.     One one hand, I did like it enough to finish it.  I wanted to find out what the mysterious ballad was about and why Nick was integral to the song.  However, the book was kind of confusing and I wasn't really satisfied with the ending.  I'm still not completely sure I "get" what the ballad was for.  I also was not sure the book knew what it wanted to be.  Was it Sci-fi, horror, paranormal...all three?  It didn't completely work for me.

The main character Nick was interesting and was one of the reason I did keep listening. I thought he was smart and didn't really make stupid choices. But the rest of them were boring.  The villain was really a cliche and was kind of laughable.  It wasn't a waste of a read, it just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.  Maybe it will work more for you.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

I've been a bit hesitant to read these, especially given my lukewarm reaction to Koryta's other supernatural thrillers. I feel he may just be better at keeping things grounded in reality.