The Girl Behind the Wall by Bruce Wetterau

The Girl Behind the Wall – Edgar Allen Poe, the Girl, and the Mysterious Raven Murders by Bruce Wetterau
A Clay Cantrell Mystery
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Did Edgar Allan Poe know more about murder than he revealed in his bizarre stories of murder and mayhem? Was he in fact guilty of killing a girlfriend in a fit of rage many years before he became famous?

Bruce Wetterau’s taut thriller weaves a murder mystery worthy of Poe himself as it follows Poe through actual events in the last months of his life. The year 1849 saw the real-life Poe dealing with his alcoholism, failing health, poverty, and painful memories of his recently deceased child-bride wife. His life had become a psychological pressure cooker, with severe anxiety attacks and bouts of strange hallucinations.

The Girl Behind the Wall opens in early 1849. Poe is being tormented by frightening visions about murdering Annabel Lee while he was a student at the University of Virginia. Afraid of the hangman’s noose, Poe knows he can never tell anyone about the repressed memories haunting him. But a newspaper reporter named Sam Reynolds has overheard him talking erratically about Annabel while in a drunken stupor. That a man as famous as Poe could be a murderer would be the scoop of a lifetime and Reynolds will do anything to get it.

In men, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) buy sildenafil without prescription encourages testicular cells to produce androgens. These view over here buy levitra from canada side effects should be treated at any age. After all, we’re sending signals and receiving feedback to and from it every second of every day of your life – even while you sleep – the metabolic process is driving a myriad of generico levitra on line chemical conversions that allow you to stay alive. This blockage of blood happens due informative website generic cialis from india to the blockage of penile arteries. Flash forward nearly two hundred years to the present. The book’s hero, Clay Cantrell, accidentally uncovers damning evidence–Annabel’s skeleton and a locket from Poe–behind an old brick wall at the university. While the mystery of Annabel’s murder and Poe’s strange visions unfolds in flashbacks, Cantrell and friends launch a search of their own for the truth about Annabel’s death. But another murder mystery much closer to home overtakes them when a cold-blooded serial killer named the Raven claims his first victim, a UVA coed.

Obsessed with Poe, the Raven stages his murders with clever ties to Poe’s works. Clay tries to stop the murders and soon winds up in the Raven’s cross hairs. Though this isn’t the first vicious killer Clay–an ex-Army Ranger–has fought, he doesn’t know the Raven has a diabolical plan to execute him.

Will Poe finally reveal the truth about Annabel, or will he take the secret to his grave? Can Clay escape the Raven’s plot, find what drives the Raven’s murderous obsession with Poe, and at last answer the question, who killed Annabel Lee?

The truth can’t be buried forever.

This was a beautifully complex tale, from the ample cast of characters to the interlocking subplots. The author built in precisely the right amount of reminders in later scenes to jog the reader’s mind about characters or clues that were becoming more relevant to the plot than they’d been the first time they were mentioned. I read methodically in general, but it was definitely nice to have these reminders as everything began to gel together.

There were times when the plot moved so slowly that I had some trouble remaining as interested in it as I was in the beginning. The narrator needed to keep track of a lot of information simultaneously while also letting the audience knowing how all of the subplots were developing or, in some cases, not developing at the moment. I really wanted to give this a higher rating, but the pacing issues were distracting enough that I couldn’t personally go any higher than three and a half stars.

I liked the way the historical and contemporary timelines were linked to each other. There were excellent reasons for all of those parallels. Nothing happened by chance even when I didn’t yet understand why events in the late 1840s were lining up so closely to what was going on in present day. This is a topic I’d love to go into more detail about, but it really needs to be left for future readers to discover for themselves. All I can say is that it was well written and clever.

Anyone who is a fan of Edgar Allen Poe should give The Girl Behind the Wall a try.

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