(Quoted from the inside jacket)
The murder of Krista Carmichael’s fourteen-year-old sister by an online predator has shaken her faith and made her question God’s justice and protection. Desperate to find the killer, she creates an online persona to bait the predator. But when the stalker turns his sights on her, will Krista be able to control the outcome?
Ryan Adkins started the social network Grape Vyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion-dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a stalking ground for online predators. One of them lives in his town and has killed two girls and attacked a third. When Ryan meets Krista, the murders become more than a news story to him, and everything is on the line.
Joining forces, Ryan and Krista set out to stop the killer. But when hunters pursue a hunter, the tables can easily turn. Only God can protect them now.
Like a raw egg thrown at my brand new car as it sat in my driveway on Halloween night.
In other words: shocking, spooky, all-too-close-to-home, and sure to leave a mark that will make me think twice about what I leave outside my boundaries of protection.
About two years ago, I was cyber-stalked. While my experience was, thankfully, not even near the degree of scary described in Blackstock’s novel, there was a point, early on in my reading, that I had to put the book down. It was dark. I was the only one awake in my house, and Predator was hitting way too close to home. I was not sure I could continue reading -- and pretty darn sure I would have trouble sleeping that night.
As all the “what ifs” and “I can’t believe I was so stupids” flowed into my wee little brain, I found the pages blurred with the filling of my eyes. Every muscle tensed. I was short of breath. All the manipulated fear and feelings of victimization that I’d pushed aside as my own threat faded came back. I put the book aside, crawled into bed really close to my husband, and prayed.
Finally, I slept; and twelve hours later, with the sun high in the sky, I started reading again. That’s the blasted thing about a well-written novel of suspense: no matter how much it creeps you out, it’s really hard to keep it closed when the sun comes up.
If you are reading this review, you are probably, like me, one of the tens of millions of individuals who are very active online, innocently (and sometimes mindlessly, no offense) opening integral pieces of your life to people you have never met. If this book doesn’t make you think twice before entering your next “status update” – well – it would make me wonder if you really read it.
Every socially networking adult should read this book and take its cautionary message to heart. Every parent of a socially networking child should read this book and, if after reading it you decide your child is mature enough to handle the content, pass it on as required reading. This novel is not just a soap-box driven package for an author’s message; it’s an engaging and well-written story that has the potential to become a great opener for a conversation about Internet safety. Read it. And tell your friends to read it.
“No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
Predator by Terri Blackstock is a frightening novel of suspense with touches of romance that will entertain you, touches of the divine that will inspire you, and a good dose of reality that will, hopefully, help you to reexamine some of your Internet habits.
Reviewed by contributor Serena Chase
Follow Serena Chase on Twitter @Serena_Chase