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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: The Cypress Trap by J.C. Gatlin

The Cypress Trap: A Suspense Thriller - JC Gatlin, Beth Mansbridge

The prologue showed a young Owen, just graduated from high school goading his best friend to take a plunge off the cliff into the water some thirty feet below.  Grover was afraid, but trying not to show it.  Instead, he kept touching his rabbit’s foot for luck.  Finally, tired of waiting, Owen yanks his arm, and Grover goes flying over the side … and plunging to his death.

Fifteen years later, Owen is still an a-hole.  Married to Rayanne, who is trying all by herself to make their marriage work, Owen would rather be with his buddy Darryl at the Bass Tournament.  Instead, he has taken Rayanne camping.  It seems she can’t do anything right.  He is constantly irritated at her.  Unbeknownst to her, he called Darryl and the twosome would soon become two with a third wheel … and Rayanne would be the one to feel like the third wheel.  However, with twenty-something-year-old kids heckling and afflicting them, maybe it would be good to have the extra person.  What do these darn kids want anyway?  What is Owen not telling Rayanne?

This started out very interesting.  Owen was a very unlikable character from the get-go and manages to pull strong emotions from the reader.  At the same time, the reader feels sorry for Rayanne, because she is simply trying too hard.  When they’re in real trouble, the story goes stereotypical into the idea that you don’t appreciate the people you have in your life until there’s a danger of losing them.  It was a psychological thriller in that the kids could become so vicious with so little provocation.  Logistically, there were a couple of scenes that just couldn’t have played out the way it was described.  Rating: 3 out of 5.