Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Preservationist (Justin Kramon)

Brimming with suspense, Justin Kramon's The Preservationist is one that fills the reader with a strong sense of foreboding.  At first, you think this is just going to be your classic soap opera-like love triangle, with the innocent heroine and the two guys fighting over her.  But then you start to get a twinge that something may be wrong, and knowing that it wouldn't be much of a novel if there wasn't, you know your twinges are probably going to be correct.

Julia is a student at Pennsylvania's Stradler College, a picturesque campus that anyone would love to go to. She is harboring enormous guilt over a family tragedy that occurred in the past year but starts a casual relationship with Marcus, a fellow student.  However, she also becomes enamored with Sam, an older man who works at the school's snack bar; Sam is just as infatuated with Julia.

So there you have it, kids...your triangle...Julia, Marcus, and Sam (and Marcus and Sam, of course, badmouth each other to Julia).  But remember what I said about everything not being what they seem?  Well, Kramon takes this fact and multiplies it by a thousand; he also does it so fast and so matter-of-fact
that it took my breath away.  Once you hit these 1 or 2 pages, there's no going back, and your heart will practically be in your throat for the final act.