When I saw* Mammoth by Douglas Perry, I knew I wanted to try it- the premise was so good and I had read his Girls of Murder City and really enjoyed it. By the end of the book, I was wondering- what happened?
The book begins with a few stories all around an earthquake that happens in the town of Mammoth- a bank robbery occurs and people are killed "accidentally," the robbers make their escape into the mountain, there is an all girls camp stuck in the mountains unaware of what happened with the earthquake, two police officers are already on their way into the mountain to evacuate the girls camp, and the townspeople have all abandoned the town.
By the end of the book, the two police are chasing after two kidnappers/rapists who they think did the bank robbery, but instead kidnapped the sheriff's wife, which the two police officers found by accident.
I am not sure at which point the book got away from the author, but as a reader, I was left wondering how we got to the point we got by the ending of the book. Some of the stories just kind of disappeared and were left behind (such as the girls in the girls camp) for many chapters or were simply used as a plot device to get us someplace else.
I'll give you an example from the book- the police find the bank open in the abandoned town of Mammoth, they go to find the two people they believe committed the crime, they find the sheriff's wife who has been kidnapped, they hear people are returning to town, and the sheriff himself states in the book that he forgot about the dead bodies in the bank and is now worried that the town will see the bodies. That is right, the sheriff left the bank open, the dead bodies on the ground, and left the scene and essentially forgot about it without taking care of anything there first. This isn't the worst part though. The worst part is this takes a few chapters to pan out and we jump between a few narrators in the midst of this story. What happened?
I think the story simply got away from the author as the book itself is really well written and engaging. I was pulled in from the opening moments of the book and there is an ominous feeling throughout the book. The problem is that feeling never quit pans out to be much of anything and some plot lines that could have been great, never happen. I was left wondering in the very beginning- what would have the book looked like with the police and the bank robbers in the mountain with the girl's camp, where one of the girls is the bank robbers daughter? That is tense! Instead the robbers decide they are going to evacuate the girl's camp to clear out the camp and the robber's daughter is left alone in the camp. I just sat scratching my head at lost potential.
I wish this was a different book as Perry has the writing chops to make a really great book. Sadly, I think Mammoth was too big and something got lost.
I gave this one 2.5 stars, quite sadly.
Here is your Amazon link- Mammoth Douglas Perry
*I wish to thank NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for allowing me to read this book in advance. I received it for free from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.