Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Grave Tender Review

Title:  The Grave Tender
Author:  Eliza Maxwell
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  April 11, 2017 (Revised Edition)
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Raw, Heart-Racing 's

A chilling psychological suspense novel, The Grave Tender explores the dark boundaries people cross to save loved ones, and the limits of family bonds tested by the deepest of betrayals.

Note:  Revised edition: This edition of The Grave Tender includes editorial revisions.

Endless questions from a shadow-filled East Texas childhood haunt Hadley Dixon. People said her mother, Winnie, was never quite right, but with one single, irreparable act, life as Hadley knew it was shattered. The aftershocks of that moonlit night left her reeling, but the secrets and lies had started long before.

When a widowed and pregnant Hadley returns years later, it’s not the safe harbor she expects. The mysteries surrounding a local boy’s disappearance remain, and the townspeople still whisper about Hadley’s strange and reclusive Uncle Eli—whispers about a monster in their midst.

But Hadley’s father and grandmother, the cornerstones of everything safe in her world, avoid her questions. If Hadley stays here, will she be giving her children the family they need, or putting their lives in danger?

The hunt for answers takes a determined Hadley deep into the pine forests, in search of sunlight that will break through the canopy of lies long enough to reveal the truth.


Wow! What a heartbreaker! My tears were falling way before I reached the end. I knew it was going to be a dark read, touching on some sensitive subjects, but I didn’t know it would rip my heart out and leave me feeling so raw and exposed. This is my first book by Eliza Maxwell, but I’m now highly motivated to seek out and read more. The strong voice and tone of her writing carried this story and these characters through hell and high water, and her expert descriptive manipulation of setting authenticates the plot. The subject matter is dark, touching on rape, incest, domestic abuse, molestation, lies, betrayal and murder – all of which gives readers a first-hand view at the depravity some characters are/were subjected to . . . events that scar/scarred them for life while sealing their fate. I maneuvered the twists and turns of this story while holding my breath with heart racing much of the time. Every time I thought I had things figured out, another shocking revelation would prove me wrong. The characters are an odd bunch at best – and you can never be sure if you’re looking at the real deal or a person hidden by the mask of humanity they wear. At times, I felt like I was in a spook house filled with smoke and mirrors – could I trust who and what I was seeing? Or was it an elaborate illusion – a monster in disguise?

Raw, dark, and gritty, The Grave Tender is a disturbing read that I could not put down until I read the final page. I didn’t come close to guessing the villain as his/her mask never slipped until the big reveal. I won’t say more (you can read the synopsis) because this book needs to be a first-hand reading experience. It isn’t sweet. It isn’t nice. It isn’t for the faint of heart. It features some damaged, broken characters stumbling down a path toward a destiny of ultimate betrayal and devastation – all brought about by the tears of their past. An intense, haunting, beautifully written story that draws attention to some hardcore subjects. A Page Turning Must Read!

My Rating:  5 Raw, Heart-Stopping 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


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