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Perfect Nightmare (2005)

by John Saul

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6141233,719 (3.56)9
If you open your house to strangers, who knows who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom. Now, ponder the unthinkable and surrender to your darkest dread, as sinister storyteller extraordinaire John Saul weaves a heart-stopping tale of lurking terror and twisted intent.Every parent's nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay's recent eerie claim--that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers--drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.Patrick Shields recognizes Kara's pain--and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick's suspicion, like Kara's, blooms into horrified certainty.Someone is trolling this peaceful community--undetected and undeterred--harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds...and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Lindsay Marshall (from Camden Green, Long Island) has one more year of high school and then she graduates. But her parents want to sell their house and move to New York City because Lindsay’s father’s job is there, and her parents are seeing less and less of each other since he has to stay at a small apartment in the city. Lindsay is upset to leave all her friends behind, and she hates the city. When their house is opened to prospective buyers Lindsay feels her room has been invaded, it has a strange smell and she thinks someone was lying on her pillow. It is giving her the creeps. But her parents brush her fears aside. The next time their agent holds an open house for them, Lindsay vanishes, never to be seen again. It is later revealed that this has happened to a few other females after they had open houses. Is there a connection? Is someone abducting these girls?

A totally scary story about a crazy kidnapper who gets access to his victims through visiting the open houses of the homes they are selling. I really felt for Lindsay’s mom (Kara) and everything she went through, along with the victims. This book had lots of tense and disturbing situations. A creepy, dark, and captivating read by John Saul. ( )
  SandraLynne | Sep 27, 2022 |
It was a good read. It kept me reading but the ending needed something more. It is a 3.5 star read for me. ( )
  christiestar | Jul 17, 2022 |
It's been a long time since I read a John Saul book...but i believe I have now read everything he has ever published. His books are supernatural in content but has enough of a non-ghostly story to satisfy almost everyone. I don't want to even imagine what it would be like to have a child go missing but John Saul did an excellent job of portraying a mother who does not give up regardless of what everyone is telling her. This creepy stalker story becomes a shrewd whodunit that will appeal to mystery fans, suspense fans and supernatural /horror fans alike. ( )
  Carol420 | May 22, 2020 |
John Saul is probably my favorite author of all-time but this book was rather disturbing. It was more psychological than his typical scary ghost type of story. It kind of left me with a sick sort of feeling, kind of like after I watched the movie "Seven" or "Saw". Not one of his better books in my opinion. ( )
  AKLibGirl | Dec 21, 2013 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. I usually read all my books on an ereader but this one I got from my daughter and is a hardcover. It was a wonderful book with all the twists, turns, nail biting, edge of your seat, who done its ever. I expect nothing less from Saul than a wonderful book.
In this one you really do get caught up in the lives of Kara, her husband and their daughter who goes missing. Just vanishes into thin air along with two other people.
All the kids from school come together to help Kara find her daughter and she feels so alone because her husband and Lindsey's dad is not there. But he has a reason. You will feel so sorry for Kara. She feels that she has lost everything but she still will not give up on finding her daughter alive.
Lindsey is a smart and strong teenager who begins to think she will never be found and endures so much. Then an older woman is abducted and there are three of them now.
The villain is really very sad. He endured such torture as a very young boy and in a way I felt it was not him there but the crazy part of him only. I had him figured out only in the last half of the last chapter. It did take me a while with this one. I thought it was someone else but then it hit me. I didn't expect it to be the way it was though and there was a lot of twists and turns, edge of your seat and sadness in the story. You didn't know what to expect when Kara kept thinking she was hearing her daughter crying, singing, yelling and just things that a distraught mother would hear if her daughter just went missing and you could not get the police to believe that she had not run away because they were moving during her senior year of high school. But even though in the end all did not go exactly as you might like it was a wonderful book with a wonderful ending. Some people got exactly what they deserved, but others.... not so much. Great book. I love John Saul's books and now can't wait for a new one to come out.. Read if you like scary, not horror but intense scary reading. ( )
  lsmoore43 | Aug 4, 2013 |
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I prowled through their house for a long time last night before I finally did what I knew I had to do.
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If you open your house to strangers, who knows who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom. Now, ponder the unthinkable and surrender to your darkest dread, as sinister storyteller extraordinaire John Saul weaves a heart-stopping tale of lurking terror and twisted intent.Every parent's nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay's recent eerie claim--that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers--drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.Patrick Shields recognizes Kara's pain--and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick's suspicion, like Kara's, blooms into horrified certainty.Someone is trolling this peaceful community--undetected and undeterred--harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds...and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.

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