I went into this book not knowing what it was about. It was recommended to me by a friend, of whose opinion I really trust when it comes to literature. The first half of this book is a little slow. The characters and plot are being laid out in a very meticulous matter. Almost like a puzzle. About half way through the book, the pace really begins to pick up! I read the last half in about two sittings. I could not put it down.
The language and the "sex scenes" were a little more explicit than I usually appreciate. However, I believe that it was needed in order to set the tone of evilness and corruptness that the author was trying to achieve.
This story could have benefited from a much better editor. There are unfired Chekhov's guns lying all over the place in this book which needlessly extend the length. The prose is consistently thoughtful, though I do not think the author thought out either the plot tree or the ending. The last two hundred pages or so really could be rewritten with a better idea of denouement.
(Pharmacist hat on) Ah, scopolamine doesn't work that way. If you attempted to give someone that kind of a dose, the victim won't get retrograde amnesia (try methaqualone (extremely illegal) or midazolam (used precisely for that kind of effect)), but the victim will have the worst horror filled nightmare hallucinations and if kept up long enough, break their sense of reality. If those girls really did get those kind of doses, what a different and more interesting torture porn story could have been told.
There are many interesting plot threads started, some interesting if improbable characters, and a storyline that begins as supernatural and then transitions to creepy - but it has been years since I read a novel that so ruthlessly and shamelessly nosedives while trying to concoct its ending. A wretched waste of time and money.
I was definitely invested in the characters, which I suppose is the reason I felt somewhat let down by the ending. I guess I really didn't understand Nicole's motives as they related to Craig. Overall, though, it was a good book, and worth reading even if it left me feeling sad.
I really enjoyed this novel, but it left too many ends untied. I will read other books by Kasischke. Her poetic prose is lovely and haunting. Also, the focus on death and dying and culture was really interesting.