May Contain Spoilers
Wow – I enjoyed Vengeance more than Fracture, and that’s saying a lot, because I REALLY REALLY liked Fracture! In this follow-up, the story is narrated by Decker, and boy, oh boy, is he having some issues! Suffering from the trauma of pulling his best friend out of Falcon Lake after she falls through the ice, he performed CPR on her while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. Delaney was under the water for 11 minutes, and while waiting for word on her prognosis, Decker wished desperately for her to live. In those agonizing hours he waited for her to wake up, he would have traded anybody’s life for hers. When bad things start happening to his friends, he starts to wonder if the lake really is cursed, and whether it is punishing him for taking Delaney away from it.
OMG! Poor Decker! He is struggling with so many emotions, and after his father suffers from a heart attack and dies, he is overcome with anger. Rage at Delaney, because she didn’t say anything about it. Ever since she was under the ice, she can sense when someone is going to die. He knows that she knew his father was going to die, and he’s furious that she didn’t tell him. They are supposed to be a couple, and couples don’t lie to each other. He stops talking to her, and he’s so mad he can’t even look at her. When he discovers that she promised his father that she would keep his illness a secret, he’s even more incensed. How could she keep his father’s terminal illness a secret – for months?
This is soooo angsty, and I loved it. While Decker is seething with rage, he’s also consumed with guilt. He left Delaney out on the ice, alone, because he was mad at her then, too. He hasn’t forgiven himself for being so selfish, either, and it’s doubtful that he ever will. It’s so easy to turn the focus of his anger on her, so he doesn’t have to forgive himself, and he can blame her with the full force of his pent up guilt and fear that somehow she’s going to be taken from him again. Yet even as he’s so furious with her, she still consumes his every thought. His every fear. He can’t let her go, even though he claims he wants nothing to do with her.
Decker’s voice is so painfully raw as he tries to justify his feelings to himself. His is a righteous sense of betrayal – by the girl he loves, by his father, by his mother. All people he thought he could trust and who would never lie to him about something so important. He is wallowing in self-pity, even as the water strikes back at him. His house is ruined by flooding, Delaney’s house is damaged during a thunderstorm, his friend’s car is ruined when the engine is flooded with water. Through it all, all he can see is Delaney trapped under the ice, lying still again.
I don’t know how to express how much I liked this book. Everybody is flawed, and that made them more sympathetic. As Decker’s sense of safety is eroded with each new mishap, he wonders how he can escape the curse and keep Delaney safe. While he struggles to forgive her, and ultimately, himself, he searches for the culprit behind all of the vandalism. Is it really the lake? Or is there a more rational explanation for all of the bad things that keep happening to Decker and his friends? While I found that mystery suspenseful, the driving motivation for repeatedly turning the pages of Vengeance was Decker and the emotional train wreck he was causing for himself.
Review copy provided by publisher
Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn’t matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker’s father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can’t forgive Delaney until he knows why.