Best Left Buried is an e-book by first time author Cindy Hutchins. It’s a mystery/horror story that takes place in North Carolina. Arliss can’t remember much about her life before she was taken from her mother and adopted. After being notified of her mothers death some twenty years later, she finds herself thrust into a strange mystery. She’s the focus of a local legend, birds are following her everywhere, and a crazy preacher is after her. Will she find answers to what is going on, or will she find that the past is best left buried?
The story description really caught my interest, and I was really looking forward to reading the book. However, I was really let down. The plot is there and the general idea of the story is great, but the writing just kills it. The story is peppered with punctuation errors, run-on sentences, and fragmented sentences. It caused the flow of the reading to be interrupted and yank me completely out of the story. Also, there were no chapters aside from the prologue and the epilogue, which made for a bit of a daunting read. Chapters are always important since they not only give your reader a place to stop, but also help add to the excitement or tension . . . which ever your trying to build. All there are were scene change breaks, so I don’t know if that equates out to chapters with the Kindle format.
The idea about the birds and the spirit creature/demon was interesting and had some great potential to be scary. However, the bird attacks became repetitive and began sounding too much like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. That association is made even more distinct by the constant mention of the movie by the characters themselves. The spirit creature also seemed to channel several episodes of the X-Files, and was never really scary.
The characters seemed very flat. They were either good or corrupted by evil, with not much in between. The only realistic character that anyone would be able to remotely relate to would be Nick. I think the thing that bothered me the most about the story was how Arliss seemed to go from totally disbelieving everything going on to being head-over-heals into it with the drop of a hat. I was expecting some sort of breakdown or something . . . anything to explain her coming to grips with her returned memories and her sudden personality/reasoning change.
Overall, the book isn’t all that great. The potential for a great story is there, but is never capitalized on. I think what Mrs. Hutchins really needs is to find a better editor or even a critique group. A critique group is the better option, being that they will point out all the grammatical/technical errors and other improvements, and it gives you an insight on how other people will react to the story. For more info about Cindy Hutchins, you can visit her website.
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