Cristina, the latest book from American writer Jake Parent, is a psychological suspense novel.
Published in July 2016 by Modern Minimalist Press, I received my copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
What did I think?…… Keep reading to find out…
‘Driven by a desperate need to escape her past, Cristina Rodriguez moves into a picturesque hilltop home with an ocean view. The same place where, four years earlier, a young girl was kidnapped and murdered.
At first, both the house and the scenic California beach town seem perfect. Fresh air. Fresh faces. And the ocean is just ten minutes away. But as Cristina and her daughter set about rebuilding their lives, they soon discover that the past is not about to let go so easily.’
Cristina Rodriguez is escaping a life that was full of hardship and tragedy. With her daughter Anise, she moves to the seaside town of Pleasure Point, California to start all over again.
The victim of abuse, both inside & outside her marriage, Cristina, after leaving her now ex husband Anthony, sets up home in a new town, with new faces and new friends.
After learning of the brutal death of the little girl who lived in the house she has viewed, Cristina, undeterred, decides she can cope with the memories that are tucked away in the walls and puts in an offer that is accepted.
The excitement, the pure joy of Cristina to finally be able to provide a safe haven for Anise is felt within the opening pages of the novel. Cristina is young. With all her life experiences, she is still quite naive and has not really researched the area properly. It is a house with stunning vistas and a bedroom for Anise. They are Cristina’s priorities and with her decision made she moves her life to Pleasure Point.
As the plot line reveals, all is not as it seems in Pleasure Point.
Once a thriving economy, the town now survives primarily on the tourist trade. It is a town, quite honestly, I would run a mile from!!
Some of the individuals described in the novel are more like characters out of a horror movie. There are parts of town no person should enter. A crack den, where people left with hardly any semblance of humanity spend their days, crawling around like wild animals.
‘At first she thought he must be some kind of creature risen from the dead. The few chunks of stringy hair remaining on his head looked as though they had been singed by fire. His mouth gaped open, showing rotted teeth the color of a school bus. The filthy white t-shirt hanging off his gaunt shoulders was tattered, his blue jeans completely ripped down one side, revealing a bare leg covered in red sores. He was not wearing underwear.
But none of these things were as frightening as his black eyes. Set deep in a high forehead covered with the same raging pustules as his legs, the man’s oversized pupils were motionless.
Cristina felt, for that moment, like the dark, lifeless orbs were calling to her.’
The descriptions make for quite an uncomfortable read and that would be a strength of Jake Parent’s writing. You can almost smell the decay and visualize the horrors of a life lost to this evil.
Cristina finds herself caught up in many difficult and traumatic situations. She does befriend a few eccentric characters who provide her with stories of the destruction the town has suffered, sometimes at the hands of it’s own residents.
There is an underlying menace of a cult living well hidden within Pleasure Point. A constant reminder of a very upsetting time in the town’s very turbulent history.
There are scenes of the occult present in Cristina so be warned if this is your night time read!!!
Cristina Rodriguez is a born fighter. She is of Latino origin, with some very strong support by her side. She has seen enough and experienced enough in her own past, allowing her to face head on the challenges and fears that this new move has presented to her.
She worries for her life and that of Anise but she has a backbone that all the past abuse has failed to destroy. Cristina is a survivor.
Cristina is quite a disturbing read. There are scenes within the book that make for uncomfortable reading.
Jake Parent has incorporated quite a number of topics in the novel – violence, sex abuse, drugs, the occult and also, be warned, there are a number of explicit sex scenes. Cristina is a tough read, but it does have, at it’s core, a mother wanting to protect her child from the dangers of society.
Cristina is a story of survival against all the odds.
To purchase a copy of Cristina please click here :
Who is Jake Parent:
Jake Parent is the author of Cristina, a new psychological suspense novel. His first book, Only the Devil Tells the Truth, was a #1 Amazon Bestseller.
His influences include Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, Honoré de Balzac, Ella Fitzgerald, John Sanford, Jimi Hendrix, Ernest Hemingway, Greg Graffin, Pablo Picasso, Rickey Henderson, and Mac Dre.
He grew up in San Jose, CA but now lives in the Washington, DC area.