A Novel

Book - 2016
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Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781616205621
Characteristics: 229 pages


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Aug 12, 2019

Touted as the most secure hotel ever built, Manderley is just days from officially opening, and its staff are frantically finalizing preparations for the grand event. Today, though, the cutting-edge security system has been breached and, one by one, employees are being killed off. How could the world's safest hotel be doomed before it can even open its doors?

I have to admit that when 'Security' came up on my to-read list I could no longer recall what it was about or why I had added it. Rather than read the flap, I opted to go in cold. I generally don't read slasher novels, so what a weird surprise! I appreciated the dark humor -- at least, I think it was intentional (the French chef seemed too much of a caricature for it to be otherwise). The mystery of the narrator's identity was superb. I deduct one star for the frustrating lack of resolution; in the end we still don't know conclusively who or why. Boo.

Jul 24, 2019

I couldn't get into this novel. I gave it half a star because I did read the first 10 pages or so. I did feel the writing was a tad strained---too many adjectives. Just not for me.

ArapahoeAnnaL Aug 10, 2018

It's a slasher thriller but with enough humanity and comedy to make it more than worth your while. It ends with a great fast-paced action-packed nail-biter scene.

CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 25, 2018

The brand-new Manderley Hotel caters to the super-rich, and has not only every luxury imaginable, but also has unimaginable security systems in place. So, why are staff members dying horribly during an opening rehearsal?

Nov 13, 2016

For all my reviews, check out Clues and Reviews

Manderly Resort, a luxury hotel by the ocean, is buzzing with excitement. Their opening day is tomorrow and there is still a lot of work to be done. The housekeepers are running room-to-room, cleaning up stains and buffing the marble floors. The cook is working diligently on preparing his opening night meal. The hotel manager is organizing staff and ensuring no detail is left. And a psychopathic, mask-wearing killer is on the loose to slaughter them all…

Where do I even start with Security by Gina Wohlsdorf?

This novel was completely different from any novel I have ever read.

Initially, I had a very hard time getting into this one. However, it’s creative, cunning and downright inventive narrative path kept me coming back for more. I am glad that I kept reading this one because it is a doozy.

The novel opens, as most do, with business as usual, the night before a grand hotel opening. The Manderly Hotel is state of the art with its complex design and excitedly awaiting their debut. Soon, a killer is moving swiftly through the hotel, taking out its members one by one. Systematically, violently and without any hesitation.

Wohlsdorf has some completely original moments within this book. For starters, the novel has flashes where the narrative text is split down the middle; this is meant to mirror the multiple security cameras in the resort. As you read one side, and then the other, you are shown multiple events happening in the hotel at the same time. Someone could be being brutally murdered on one floor, while someone is cleaning a bathroom on another. This was one of the most intriguing features of the book; I loved being able to see the multiple perspectives. This tactic also became quite eerie. This also comes into play with the naming of the chapters; each chapter is named based on which security camera it is following. That chapter will focus on all the events going on in the hotel through those specific lenses. This is kind of hard to understand at first but once you get a hang of it, you appreciate it for its originality. And it’s downright cool.

The narrator is an omniscient narrator. The voice comes across as “Big Brother” type- something right out of 1984. Initially, it is not made clear who he is, whether he is in on the killings or whether he is, simply, a victim himself. What we do know for sure, is that he is privy to watch all of the action in the hotel unfold through the security cameras. Whether or not he is enjoying it, is a completely separate issue. His narrative voice is detached and cold; he seems not bothered by the gore that he is watching on camera. This is one of the most disconcerting parts of the novel.

This book will not be everyone. For starters, it is kind of hard to follow; the narration is extremely disjointed (on purpose) but the story will not follow any sort of linear path. It jumps rampantly. One moment, you are looking through one lens and then it jumps back through the lens of another camera. Even with the warning of which cameras it is following, it still was a little difficult. I feel like it would have been more pleasing to have the multiple views told strictly in the side by side panels instead of mixed into the body of the text. It also moved rather quickly, the first people were already being murdered before I even had a chance to know who they were!

If you want a novel you can read absently and straightforward, you will not like this novel at all. This one will not allow you to be a complacent reader. However, if you want something more complex and original, then add this one to your list. You may also love this novel if you are a fan of slasher movies. This novel sort of reads like one!

Marlowe Oct 08, 2016

This was my first "horror" novel, and I really enjoyed the action and mystery. Security felt like a modern version of "The Shining." All the action is contained to a luxury hotel, and spills out to a large hedge maze. Family dramas play out inside, along with murder and mayhem. The ending is action packed, and might distract you from the question "why?"

ArapahoeKati Oct 04, 2016

Kinda hard to recommend a book that reads like a slasher film, but you're gonna want to keep reading to find out who lives...

Chapel_Hill_TracyB Sep 15, 2016

Clever, all-consuming, and gory. Readers who appreciate a unique point of view and love a race against time to solve the puzzle before the characters do will love eat up this fast-paced take on a slasher novel.

KateHillier Aug 30, 2016

This was a weird one. Weird but interesting. A hotel is built, called Manderley, and caters to the rich and famous. It's touted as having the most advanced security system in the industry. It's going to be the big selling point when the hotel finally opens.

We follow the hotel staff as they prepare for opening day through the point of view of the security cameras throughout the hotel. We also follow a killer making his way through the hotel, and the hotel staff.

It's a bizarre book, interesting in an experimental way but there's also a strong human element to it as well. Definitely an experience; and this is the author's first novel!

When I started this book, I couldn't put it down. I started it before I realized there was a fullpage review in the July issue of Book Page. It had a little bit of every type of genre in it. A top rated book. The book is about comings and going ons at the soon to open Maderly Resort told thru the eyes of the security cameras.

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