Usually when I tell our web editor, Liza Darwin, that she must try something, I'm talking about a trend from the Miu Miu runway. Recently, though, it was different. I slammed the new novel The Raising onto her desk and said, "If you don't check this out, you'll be sorry."
The book had occupied most of my weekend, turning it into one of those Saturday-Sunday double headers where I only took reading breaks for brunch and heated "you're too good for him" text messages. I tore through this book. It was creepy. It was suspenseful. It was annoying and salacious. I loved it. By the next Monday, Liza did too. "Oh my gosh," she said, returning the book to my desk. "That was so scary. I couldn't stop reading it!"
Written by Laura Kasischke, who specializes in voyeur-murder stories like The Life Before Her Eyes, The Raising takes place on a small college campus with a particular obsession: untimely death. A year before the story starts, the school's star pupil (who's also, of course, a lithe virginal blond) is killed in a drunk driving accident. At least, that's the story according to the cops, the local newspaper, and the student body.
But when an overachieving professor, a lonely student, a drug dealer, and a secretary all have the same dream about the dead girl - who's startlingly alive in their visions - the university's safe and hallowed halls turn upside-down.
Cleverly threaded with folk tales and myths of different cultures - told by the professor during her lecture classes - The Raising is part murder mystery, part vampire novel, and part teenage dream.
If you can't tell; we couldn't put it down.