Monday, September 27, 2021

Mommy and Daddy's Day Review: Asylum by Tamera Lawrence

Every so often here, on Bookworm for Kids, I have a Mommy and Daddy's Day because parents love to read, too. These books are often also suitable for the young adult audience and do not have any content, which requires them to be hid under the bed. 

Today's read nods toward October and the approaching Halloween season with a thriller...and it does take place right around Halloween! There is some violence but nothing over the top, and it is a bit creepy but doesn't slide really into horror, either.

But just take a look for yourself.


by Tamera Lawrence

Psychological Thriller
232 pages
ages 16 +

Like all children living at Rose Hill Asylum, Kyle Hampton wanted freedom from the abusive staff and violent residents. When at nine he was adopted into a loving family, he left his younger brother behind and didn’t look back. Twenty-eight years later, his choices have returned to haunt him.

Now a family man, Kyle has hidden his true childhood from his wife, only to stir up the past when, as a lark, he revisits the underground tunnels and the abandoned asylum with a friend. A dark figure wants revenge and emerges ready to destroy Kyle and everyone he loves. But Kyle isn’t going down without a fight—he’s played in the shadows before.

Will his childhood, rooted in terror, be what saves him?

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Tension runs high as this fast-paced thriller shoves a man back into his childhood memories and let's everything play out in the dark shadows of a desolate and forgotten asylum.

Kyle was born in an asylum and raised there with his younger brother after their mother's death until his adoption. His brother was left behind. Years later, Kyle now is married and has a baby daughter. The family atmosphere along with a visit to the asylum's ruins...thanks to his best friend's urban adventure interests...has left him wanting to find out what happened to his brother and reconnect. But strange things start happening, and it soon becomes clear that someone is watching him and his family. And their intentions aren't only set on revenge...they are pure evil.

I love a well-woven thriller, and this one fits that bill. Kyle is presented as a normal family father, whose marriage is a bit rocky thanks to their new baby daughter. His past comes in easy to follow flashbacks, which present the harshness of his childhood in the asylum. These do hold clues, but they are foggy enough to keep the reader wondering how it all pieces together as things get more and more dangerous for Kyle. He remains 'a nice guy' throughout the tale, which made him easy to like and fun to fever for. His wife, father, best friend and other relationships come across very naturally and made the world that much more believable.

The descriptions of the characters give each one a distinct personality, especially the 'bad guy'. His personality holds a quirky chill, which grabs and leaves an off-balanced atmosphere. Since the story unfolds from different points of view (divided by chapters), the reader slowly gets to know him without really knowing who he is until the end. It kept me guessing and added twists and turns, which were hard to see coming.

Of course, the condemned asylum buildings and tunnels offer the perfect background for a creepy thriller, and the author does an excellent job at letting the dark corners hold all the necessary eeriness and then some. But even outside of the asylum, the thrills and chills remain high. It's well-woven, grabs from beginning to end, and leaves off with an unexpected surprise.

And here she is...

With a passion for writing, Award winning author Tamera Lawrence likes to entertain readers with edgy thrillers and mysteries. As a mother of six, Tamera draws on personal experiences to bring to life interesting characters set in today’s complex world. She loves meeting fans and writes book reviews upon request.

Tamera also likes to play softball and clang out a tune or two on the piano.


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