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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Horror and sorrow rock a small Kansas town when gruesome multiple homicides are committed, and one of the victims is never found, in the thrilling suspense novel, The Rocking Horse by Gloria Zachgo. Twenty-two years after the horrific event, a young woman moves to the town. Her presence brings the nightmarish memories of that grisly night back to the surface for those who were living there at the time. Chicagoan Jenny Preston is in an abusive marriage. Feeling alone and vulnerable, Jenny pulls out a map to search for a place to hide from her husband. When Jenny sets the map down, her miniature rocking horse, a childhood security object, falls over and pinpoints Shady Creek, Kansas. The small wooden rocking horse has been with Jenny her whole life, and she takes this as a good sign. Using the alias Julie Hendricks, Jenny moves to Shady Creek to start her life over.
However, unsettling things disturb her new-found freedom. When Jenny moves into her new home, her rocking horse begins to rock on its own as if trying to communicate with her. Another disconcerting feature of her new life is that whenever Jenny meets an older resident, they react in shock. But the most bizarre and alarming thing that occurs is when she learns she is the spitting image of a young woman brutally murdered twenty-two years before. Could there be a connection between Julie and the long-deceased look-alike? Was she led to Shady Creek for a reason?
The Rocking Horse by Gloria Zachgo is a riveting suspense novel, proving that there is no such thing as coincidences. I was impressed with how the author has cleverly layered the subplots, drawing out the suspense to an astonishing conclusion. This is an enjoyable story with a breathtaking plot that will entrance suspense fans of many genres. It is an engrossing murder mystery filled with gory scenes and human interest. I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy mystery and suspense novels.