REVIEW: Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams

REVIEW: Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter AbrahamsDown the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls #1) by Peter Abrahams
Published: Harper Collins (2006), Paperback, 448pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fiction, Mystery

Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets.

Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late! (from Goodreads)

A summation of my feelings re:this book in three words: Absolutely. Loved. It.

I wasn’t expecting much when I bought Down the Rabbit Hole on a whim last week at B&N. The back cover summary sounded interesting, the first page held promise, the cover wasn’t too bad– it was a safe bet that it’d be at least decent, if not necessarily wonderful.

But it is! Completely and totally wonderful! And so now I have the very difficult task of writing a coherent review without gushing all over it like psycho.

Where do I start? Okay, first: the writing. The writing! It’s so sharp that it hurts sometimes, but in a good way. Take this section, for instance:

Ingrid walked over to a bench on the sidelines and sat down. Cold rain soaked her hair, her shoulders, her back. A thought came, a little late, like maybe she should have stayed in the taxi and had the driver take her home. What was the route from soccer to her house, 99 Maple Lane? Through the line of trees at the end of the field, Ingrid could see the red cross marking the helicopter pad on the hospital roof, and beyond that the spire of the Congregational church. From the church, you went by the village green and turned right at the corner with the Starbucks. Or was it the next corner, the one with the candy shop? Ingrid didn’t know, but it was getting dark now. Time to go.

And the whole book’s like that. Good! So good!

And the story— it’s not entirely a mystery, in that the mystery takes up the forefront of the novel. There are mystery parts in it, but they’re not actually the best parts. The best parts are with Ingrid: moving through her life, her changes, her thoughts and feelings. I love Ingrid like a little sister, and I have high hopes for her in the next book. I loved the first romance parts, the awkward horribleness of her parents’ fighting, the competition with a peer for a part in a play, the What Would Sherlock Holmes Do questions, the learning about life and people! And more!

Every character is this perfect little self-contained world that we get occasional glimpses into; the town is a bloody perfect setting for mysteries and more (I mean, “Echo Falls?” C’mon! It’s one step up from being a slasher movie setting.); the tense build up into the final solution– which kinda mirrors Holmes’ fight with Moriarty, by the way– the relationships between the characters.

Gah, I really just can’t get enough of this book. It’s fantastic. Utterly fantastic, and I wish all of you would go out and read it and then gush about it with me.

Read: February 2009

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