The past catches up with Owen Meeks while he’s on a fishing trip with his wife, Rayanne. The two of them are trying to cope with the death of their son, Connor, two years previously, but without telling Rayanne, Owen has texted his best friend, Daryl, to join them. Then, they find themselves being stalked by a murderous group of teens who are demanding that Owen return an object he took fifteen years earlier from another friend of his, Grover Lott.
The Cypress Trap by J. D. Gatlin, is a taut thriller that follows them as they fight for their lives, against human attackers and the swamp itself. Between the teen gang, a killer dog, and the alligators, you’re left wondering at times if anyone will be alive at the end of the story.
The author writes with a sure hand as he describes the terrain and its perils, and has created a compelling cast of characters. The killer dog that the teens used initially to attack Owen and Rayanne was reminiscence at first of Cujo, but in the end was one of the most interesting characters. It was interesting how the author deftly wove the paranormal aspects of the rabbit’s foot into the story without making too big a deal of it. The machine-gun pace of language in some parts was a bit jarring, but not overly distracting.
The ending of the book caught me completely by surprise—always a delight when reading books in this genre. I give it four stars.