Friday, April 19, 2024

#Bookreview of What Lies Buried by Leslie Iain

What Lies Buried
By: Leslie Kain
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: May 14, 2024
ISBN: 979-8891321816
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
What Lies Buried by Leslie Kain is a fascinating psychological thriller with rich character development and a riveting storyline. It takes the reader on a journey of understanding the crippling effects of C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) while unpacking the complexities of this egregious disorder.
In the beginning, life was a storybook fairytale for Gavin and Katie DiMasi and their sweet baby girl, Maggie. They lived on the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Kauai where the Ono Kulok restaurant was their pride and joy. Gavin was its accomplished chef and quite a successful owner...and just like that, life was about to deliver some crushing blows. The DiMasi’s perfect family was on the precipice of disaster and derailment. Gavin was struggling. He was the sole remaining member alive from his extended family—his father was shot (taking a bullet that was meant for his brother, Devin). His mother is dead (a tragic fall down the stairs in his childhood home). Then there was the death of his identical twin brother Devin (who hanged himself, only to be discovered by Gavin). The death (and discovery) of his brother throws Gavin into an altered world of desperation and denial. He doesn’t trust...anyone. He has night tremors and spirals into fits of anger followed by crippling paranoia. His lifelong curse of guilt over his inability to save his twin from self-destruction consumes him. If not for the strength and support of his loving wife, Katie, and his perfect princess of a daughter, Maggie, he may have already begun his departure from sanity on a direct course to his bottomless pit of no return. However, how much longer can Katie be the strength to bring Gavin back?
As Gavin stares into the imaginary abyss of his thoughts in his perfect home, Katie brings him back to earth when she hands him an envelope. It’s from Levine, McDermott & Lombardi, LLP. Lombardi was his father’s attorney. Reluctant to read its contents, Katie explains she already has. It would seem they are reaching out to have Gavin return to his childhood Boston home to settle his father’s estate. To ease the tension, Katie encourages Gavin to think about taking his brother’s ashes back to Boston to put him to final rest with his deceased parents. Gavin is angry and thinks back to his brother’s death... "Now the weight of his brother’s suicide…seeing him hanging front of the taunting message he left...comes crashing down on him all over again, after he thought he’d finally put it behind him..." (pg. 6) It angered him when he thought about the countless times his father berated him; often reminding him of his inability to succeed at anything. Yet, Devin was the one always getting into trouble. Gavin was the honors student, the track and field star, and the Culinary Institute graduate. It was time—time to face his final reckoning in hopes that putting this last tragedy behind him would heal him. What Katie and Gavin couldn’t possibly know was this would be the crossroads; neither of them could have ever anticipated the actual outcome.
Leslie Kain writes with impressive conviction and soul in a phenomenal way. It is clear from the onset of this book that she wanted to deliver a memory. Her research on the crippling disorder of C-PTSD is fascinating, given the connectivity between her research and how the knowledge was used toward character development. Katie DiMasi (Gavin’s wife) is a pinnacle of strength and is portrayed as the woman who will stand by her man no matter what. Gavin is broken in every aspect of the definition of broken, and the debilitating effects that surface due to his sever C-PTSD are moments that grasp the reader and take him/her on a journey of trepidation toward what could possibly happen next? Is Gavin happy today? Angry? Paranoid? Hopeless? With the cacophony of ups and downs throughout this book, there is never a question that the reader's desire to keep turning the pages will be maintained until the last page. I applaud Ms. Kain for how nurturing and caring she was to expose the emotions and feelings of not only the afflicted (Gavin) but also the damage and destruction C-PTSD causes in what (at times) is an endless nightmare of anxiety held together with a very fragile thread of hope...somewhere. Bravo, Ms. Kain! I cannot wait to read your next book!
Quill says: What Lies Buried is a must-read that reminds the reader of how very complex (and fragile) the human psyche is.
For more information about What Lies Buried, please visit the author's website at:

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