Mad River Road by Joy Fielding


Mad River Road, Joy Fielding, 2006

My favorite quote: “I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who best summed up the difference between shock and suspense. Shock, he said, is quick, a jolt to the senses that lasts but a second, whereas suspense is more of a slow tease. Rather like the difference between prolonged foreplay and premature ejaculation, I would add, and I like to think old Alfred would chuckle and agree.”

Notable characters: Jamie Kellogg, the lonely divorcee; Brad Fisher, the man of her dreams … 

Most memorable scene: There’s an anal rape scene that still haunts me … 

Greatest strengths: Excellent pacing

Standout achievements: I really felt like I was on a road trip!

Fun Facts: The author, Joy Fielding, was actually born Joy Tepperman, and later changed her last name to Fielding, after English novelist and dramatist, Henry Fielding

Other media: N/A

What it taught me about writing: That by adding new, compelling layers to your story, you can eliminate that whole “sagging middle” thing

How it inspired my own work: All of Fielding’s characters are pretty solid but the psychopath in this novel is spot-on psychologically. A writer looking to understand the motivations and thought processes of a bad guy could do worse than to take a look at Brad Fisher  

Additional thoughts: A lot of reviewers seem to have a problem with Jamie going home with a guy she just met at a bar, saying this just isn’t believable behavior. I disagree on two counts. First, I thought that Fielding set the scene well, giving Jamie the proper motivation for the choices she made. Second of all, there are plenty of (perfectly intelligent) women who really do go home with guys they just met 

My rating: 4 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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