The TakerThe Taker by Alma Katsu
Published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

Dr. Luke Findley is hoping for a quiet evening working the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine. Unfortunately for him, Lenore McIlvrae enters the hospital with a police escort and changes his plans for rest and relaxation during his shift. Lanny, a murder suspect, tells Luke that she is not what she appears to be and then proceeds to cut her chest open – and Luke watches in disbelief as the wound instantly heals itself. Intrigued, Luke allows Lanny to tell him her story, changing the course of his own life in the process.

So, I don’t know that I would have read this book if not for book club, and what a huge shame that would have been because The Taker rocked my world. No joke – this book is like nothing I’ve read before and was one of the best literary thrill rides I’ve experienced in quite some time. Not that this book is a thriller – it’s definitely not, although I don’t know what genre to stick it in – but Lanny’s story is so thrilling, so unbelievable, that as a reader, I couldn’t help but go along for the ride. And oh how I was rewarded for taking that journey with Luke – he listened to her story as I did, breathlessly and unable to turn away for barely a minute or two at a time. My goodness what a story.

Basically I want to stop talking right now and let you read the book without many preconceived ideas. I didn’t know much about the story going in, and I feel that The Taker is best experienced as blind as possible. The story isn’t for the feint of heart – there is some weird shit happening in this book including some incredibly strange sex – but if you can handle the risk of indulging in weird and creepy stuff, the reward is excellent writing, incredibly compelling characters, and a story that will stick with you for a long time. I truly loved this book, and while I question what that says about me as a person, I can’t spend too much time worrying about that when the book was just so damn fantastic.

Do read this one. I’d love to hear what you think.