Kylie O'Rourke and her husband, Jack are on their way back from a vaction that they took with their friends, another couple. When their plane crashes suddenly in the mountains of New Hampshire, the four are among the only survivors. After getting over the initial shock, Kylie realizes that some strange things are happening.
Kylie vividly remembers a conversation she had with a man who she later learns died on impact. Later she discovers that a strange raven with human eyes is following her around, and she feels that she is being stalked by a strange presence that she felt in the in the first few minutes after the crash.
When the survivors of the plane crash start to die, Kylie and her friends do some investigating and learn that what is happening to them is a part of a complex web of events. According to ancient superstitions, they have escaped death once, and now it may be coming after them. When the presence that has been following Kylie materializes into a man, Kylie does some research and learns that she is seeing the face of a man who had been executed for a murder years before, and Kylie knows details about the crime that only the victim and the killer could know.
As Kylie's supernatural experiences increase, she realizes that her own life may be in danger.
This report prepared by fran laniado
Viking, Jul 2003, 24.95, 596 pp.
The plane heading for Boston crashed in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Rescuers save five survivors including Kylie O'Rourke and her spouse Jack trapped inside the doomed flight. Kylie relates a strange story that just before crashing, she noticed a raven perched on the plane's wing. Kylie also insists that she and the other four survivors were restlessly hiking the mountain though they were found inside the fuselage when they were rescued. No one else who lived to talk about his or her harrowing experience substantiates Kylie's claim.
Kylie's psychologist insists what she says she saw and believes happened was caused by post-traumatic stress combined with drug stimulated hallucinations. However, Kylie continues to see a raven with human eyes and turning paranoid insists that the malevolent beings she saw on the mountain are after her while people in good health that she knows start dying.
QUIETUS is a strong suspense tale that has readers questioning whether it is a psychological/medical thriller in which Kylie is losing her mind, a horror tale, or a combination of both. The story line is exciting but the wide use of psychological, medicinal, and spiritual elements enhances the audience's perceptual guesses yet slows down the pace of the plot. Still, Kylie is a wonderful lead protagonist walking a thin line between insanity and real danger, which is what makes Vivian Shilling's novel hauntingly work.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner