Review: “Scare Me” by Richard Parker

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“When did you last google yourself, Mr Frost?”

I love a thriller that uses modern technology to creep the bejeezus out of you. “Scare Me” by Richard Parker does just that. It’s the gory, creepy type of thriller that you love. But unlike its peers in the book world, “Scare Me” doesn’t sprint to a conclusion. It pulls you deep into its fictional world full of breath-stealing suspense and shocking irony. The result is a well told story that leaves you speechless because — after all is said and done — whew, it’s just that good.

About the Book

“Scare Me” by Richard Parker

Will Frost is a successful businessman and a devoted family man. He and his wife Carla have worked hard to give their eighteen year old daughter the good childhood they never had. But all that changes in the wee hours of the morning following their nineteenth wedding anniversary when an unknown female caller asks him that question:

“When did you last google yourself, Mr Frost?”

At first, Will thinks it’s a twisted prank call and goes back to sleep. His pregnant daughter and her boyfriend are scheduled to arrive home from vacation later that day, and thoughts of her return dominate his mind. Curiosity wins out, however, and Will goes online to google himself.

What he finds threatens his family and shatters the lies Will’s been telling himself about his life.

A website has been set up under his name.

His daughter Libby and her boyfriend Luke have been abducted.

There are seven homes, including his, pictured on the website. In order to save his daughter, he must visit each home and retrieve items that belong to his daughter. The last one he visits will be his own.

It’s a demented scavenger hunt with a sick twist. The residents of the first six homes are mutilated and murdered. If he wants Libby to survive, he must stay one step behind the killer… and one step ahead of the police.

My Review

“Scare Me” by Richard Parker is gory and dripping with blood from the very first house Will visits until the last. It’s wondering what he’ll find at the next residence that keeps you reading. It’s wondering the significance of each murder, as well as the items he collects, that make the book hard to put down. You like the character of Will and worry the police will start to suspect him. Until they do. Then, you fear he will be caught.

The book is full of nail-biting, gasp-inducing suspense, to say the least. However, it’s not as fast paced as books of its type usually are. Author Richard Parker strays from the cookie cutter type of thriller that floods the market today. He inserts characters that seemingly interrupt the pace of the novel and detract from the growing suspense.

There’s the journalist named Pope whose motives for not turning the website and murders into the media or police aren’t clear. His character feels like a prop until it turns out that he’s not. And there’s a six year old boy named Tam whose innocence is endearing, but whose story seems like too much work at first — and not necessary to the plot. Yet, every character is there for a reason.

What Parker does with “Scare Me” is create much more than a typical propulsive thriller. He creates a story about lives, the lies we tell ourselves about our lives, and how easily innocence can be shattered. The book is as full of irony as it is suspense — with some symbolism and foreshadowing thrown in. It’s as good of a thriller as any, but it’s also a fully baked, well written story.

Warning. “Scare me” can seem too long and winding in places. However, you will never regret sticking with it. Every scene contributes to the end, as does every character. The pace quickens before you know it and takes you through to the final, jaw-dropping, WTF twists.

Once it was over, I wanted to pick it back up and start again. Because, seriously. Libby’s baby! I need that WTF moment along with all the others. Again.

Thank you to Lume Books and Richard Parker for a complimentary copy of “Scare Me”.

Read More Reviews, Find More Great Books

Type in your email addy below, then hit the Subscribe button to get the latest reviews from Book Rant dropped straight in your inbox. Think of it this way. It’s just one email every once in a while — and you may just find your new favorite book to read!

One Comment

  1. Hi, my name is Eman and I’ve recently made a website, it isn’t gaining much publicity, so i was wondering if you could review my short story; the weight of water, i also do poetry art and a page on productivity, anyways, if you are interested please reply and the link to my website is on my profile, if not then thanks for reading.


Comments are closed.