Title: Mud Vein
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Dark Romance/Psychological Thriller
POV: First Person
Rating: 5 Stars!
Senna Richards is an accomplished but reclusive author who doesn’t like entanglements or the niceties of small talk. After effectively disconnecting with practically the world, her life changes one day when she wakes up in an isolated cabin. Put to the test, Senna is surrounded by clues that serve a purpose, but the most important puzzle remains to be solved.
“I will not be a victim. Not again.”
As part of Senna’s repentance, she discovers she isn’t alone in her seclusion. Trying to understand why Isaac Asterholder, a friend, is also a captive isn’t clear at first, but as Senna soon realizes, he is there for a significant reason. Over time, what ensues is the process of shock, denial, pain, guilt, anger and negotiation. As each day passes, the foreboding of this situation intensifies to the basest need of survival but also into Senna’s deep emotional introspection.
“I’m crying, but I don’t feel anything,” I assure him. He pulls his lips into a tight line and nods. “Yes, I know. That’s what hurts me the most.”
The dynamic between Senna and Isaac is an interesting one, as they share a meaningful past but their bond is much more complicated than what appears on the surface. Knowing their history and how they relate adds to the intricacy of their pairing in this psychological scenario. With each page, the tension mounts and Senna starts to connect the clues left by their captor. While some knowledge provides solace, the more Senna discovers, it takes her down a path that she must accept as her fate.
“It’s a painful thing to look inside yourself and see the whys and the hows of your clockwork. You are a lot uglier than you think, plenty more selfish than you are ever likely to admit.”
In starting Mud Vein, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I am happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. Senna is a memorable character for her complexity, stubbornness and determination. There were times when I completely understood Senna’s perspective and other times where I tried to will her to act differently, but all the while remaining invested and empathetic to her plight. With Isaac, he added incredible dimension to plot with his own demons and refusal to turn away from Senna’s darkness which led to her ultimate revelation.
Told in first person, the plot moves at a steady pace relative to the characters’ situation making the captive element feel claustrophobic at times but also accelerated based on the highs and lows. Additionally, the emotional impact of this story is weighty. Ultimately, Tarryn Fisher successfully crafts a dark psychological story that is compelling and engrossing.
Mud Vein would appeal to those who can delve into a difficult experience to see the beauty in pain and understand the significance of unconventional connections. I highly recommend!
*Thanks to Twinsie Hawkey for being my surrogate (F)BR!!*