Author: Lynn Thompson
Review: After reading Lynn Thompson short story collection moving onto one of her novels was a different reading experience. We meet lottery winner Montana Dayton while she on vacation in her purpose-built home in the mountains, shutting herself from civilization, hoping to spend the winter alone with her dog, Killer. And despite his name he is as soft as they come.
Montana thinks Rose is a bit nuts after she told her the rosemary hanging around her home is to ward off evil spirits. Rose and Montana seems to have a good relationship but something strikes me as odd when thinking about Rose. Another character I really like is Killer, in other books I’ve read where the protagonist has a pet there doesn’t seem to be a bond between them but Montana and Killer have an almost telepathic relationship its similar to a mother/child relationship.
Montana really doesn’t seem like a people person, she is even annoyed when Rose brings in Max and Chase to look after the horses; Ace and Lightening and Pumpkin the cat while she is visiting her family in LA.
Rose takes Montana to meet Bear. Bear is his nickname and we can see where he gets it, he as big “rugged mountain man” as Montana puts it and it suits him. He is also completely smitten the Rose, and he’s the owner of the local bar/restaurant in town and I have a feeling Montana might be frequenting it.
Although Bear admits he has an ulterior motive for inviting Montana and he’d like her to invest in his bar with himself and his son as they plan to build an extension. Montana isn’t keen on this but Bear doesn’t push and they agree to discuss it later once she has had time to settle in, which is nice of him and I really like him as a character, he likes to lovely father-figure.
One thing that keep reoccurring is Montana is getting the creepy sensation she is being watched, not all the time but only when she is near her cabin. But she isn’t sure if it’s just her imagination or whether something is going on but she seems determined to figure it out. Although Killer is no help, even though some animals have a sixth sense he doesn’t seem to have it or he ignores it.
Max is quite strange as he just turns up in Montana’s kitchen one morning without knocking, it’s like he let himself in the same way Rose does and Montana doesn’t like this one bit and I completely agree with her, there is something completely off about him but I can’t put my finger on it.
Men, especially single men make Montana nervous and she doesn’t really want to spend time with Max but she doesn’t have a choice as he is like her shadow and he turns up when she least wants him to.
Rose gives Montana rosemary and amulets for protection, but protection from what? I have a strong feeling Rose knows something about this place that no-one else does but Montana seems to be picking up on it.
Montana feeling that Max is following goes to check out his place during the night, but instead she gets ambushed and dragged through the woods, and it is Chase who finds her unconscious behind the barn. And now to her disappointment she is stuck with Max caring for her.
By Chapter 6 we can see a relationship developing between Max and Montana as she can open up and talk to him and he is blindly determined to protect her from whatever or whoever attacked her. He even makes some slightly sexually advances towards her like sleeping in her bed shirt less, kissing her neck and the list goes on and Montana instead of beating him up actually reacts in a feminine way by blushing and being extremely embarrassed.
Max and Chase become Montana’s full-time bodyguard and between them she barely has a minute alone, which she doesn’t really mind as when she’s alone she’s paranoid and scared about being attacked by whatever/whoever attacked her before, and things are getting stranger. Nest of leaves are being placed methodically on her porch, it almost seems a bit like voodoo.
Things just don’t seem to be going Montana’s way, getting stuck in a snow storm and having to walk near blind to her cabin, at least this time she isn’t alone as Chase and Killer are with her. Chase and Montana have a sort of brother/sister relationship and get on really well.
By Chapter 9 Max and Montana have figured out the thing stalking her is male and has a huge dislike for Max, who incidently trying to capture it alive but it seems to be two steps ahead of them. They hang the protective rosemary over the doors hoping it will keep it away from the house. But we still have no idea what it is and I’m dying to know.
Whatever it is it wants Montana enough to venture onto Max’s property, but Max’s wolves keep the thing at bay although Montana is becoming extremely frustrated and wants it gone but Max is still withholding information about whatever it is.
The way Max discussed the creature it reminds me of X-Files especially with how much he say “classified”. Montana’s and Max’s romance is developing slowly but there’s is always a degree of anger, frustration and sexual tension between them.
By Chapter 13 Max is off on one of his monster hunting adventures again, leaving behind a frustrated Montana. Right now she is feeling a bit lost, the night Max left for his trip they moved their relationship to the next level and she’s feeling a bit like a zombie without him but life goes on, Chase has his own horse, Pumpkin is pregnant, Bear and Tree (Bear’s son) as coming to discuss their investment proposal with her, but all the while she misses Max.
Then things take a turn for the worst as Montana is jumped in the middle of the night by three men but instead of raping her or beating her, they inject her with a drug that amplifies her sixth sense. She can sense how people are feeling now it’s a hundred times stronger and she knows these men are connected to Max in some way.
Montana is struggling to cope with her heightened emotion sensing and her anxiety spikes every time someone touches her or she’s around a lot of people and Max has still yet to make a return.
When Max does return and war begins raging between him and Chase. The relationship Montana and Max share is becoming unbearable with her heightened perception and Chase can calm her when her anxiety spikes so there is a lot of tension between the three. Montana’s first real test is when everyone shows up at her cabin some unannounced for breakfast.
Montana has been continually doing some research on the thing that attacked her and she has come to the conclusion that its a chameleon but on steroids as its at least 10x bigger than the average chameleon.
In a fit of what I can only call insanity Montana set out to find this thing and kill it all by herself. The moment she steps into the forest he comes at her fast and she is torn between running and standing her ground. It eventually knocks her out and she wakes up in a cave from which she now has to escape before the thing returns for her.
We are hurdling towards the final few scenes and I am still speculating on what will happen as there are so many plot twists. After she attempts to fist fight the thing she is poisoned and her spirit is rejected – that’s the best word I can think of – from her body. No matter what she tries is can’t get back into her body yet.
After over two week out of her body Montana is getting frustrated she can’t get back in, she misses talking to Chase, Rose and her family, the only person that can see her and hear her is the Doc and neither knows why she can’t access her own body.
It turned out that the thing had a name; Blake which is also the title of the story. Max has also left yet again and won’t return until he has found a cure for whatever the government men shot her up with.
The Doc found a way to return Montana to her body which everyone is immensely pleased with especially Montana herself.
The last few pages of this book is about Montana finding herself and discovering how to be free of her own anxieties and I felt it was a good ending to this novel but compared to her short story collection this novel falls slightly short but I’d still recommend it to everyone.
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: www.amazon.com
Also see: News Worthy by Lynn Thompson