The Castle by Anne Montgomery
ABOUT THE BOOK
Maggie, a National Park Ranger, is back at the Castle – an ancient Native American pueblo carved into the face of a limestone cliff in Arizona. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt. As part of her therapy Maggie volunteers at the local rape crisis clinic.
Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, always greets her with a warm smile and fills pink boxes with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver, is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses a deep spring filled with strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Then there’s Dave, with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.
One of these men is a serial rapist, and Maggie is his next target.
I was delighted to be asked by Ms. Montgomery to review this emotional suspense thriller. It did not disappoint.
Maggie is a National Park Ranger in Arizona. She loves her career meeting visitors, giving tours of the Montezuma Castle and the park’s resources. It’s her traumatic past that follows her daily, especially now there is a rapist on the loose. Who can it be? Her new next-door neighbor? Her new boss? Perhaps it’s the new baker or the traveling bartender? Whomever it is, he has Maggie in his sights and it’s just a matter of time before he strikes.
My heart breaks for Maggie and her horrific past experiences. What more can a young woman take? I was moved by how Ms. Montgomery delves into the difficult topic of rape, especially as it pertains to Native American women. The statistics are shocking and the stories told by others are real and important to hear. In addition, Maggie’s friend Lily opens a Rape Crisis Center in the town which gives Maggie a way to confront some of her fears and anger by helping others and participating in group therapy. Maggie finally opens up about her rape and the loss of her son and all the guilt she carries. I was on the edge of my seat to learn the identity of the rapist who got what he deserved. What I loved is that Maggie started coming out of her shell toward the end to start a new beginning in her life. There are many triggers with this book including rape, attempted suicide, death, and depression. So, please read with caution.
The story is told from both Maggie’s and the rapist’s points of view. It’s chilling to be in the mind of a sociopath as he justifies his actions and plans his next move. It is suspenseful to try and guess who the killer is. I did guess fairly early, but the author adds some twists and turns that had me doubting myself.
Ms. Montgomery also introduces very interesting facts about the National Park System, historic Native American sites, and the Submerged Resource Center. I also wanted to add that I truly felt Ms. Montgomery’s love for her home state of Arizona. Her journalistic prose flows with the beautiful descriptions of the animals, the flora, and the gorgeous settings.
I highly recommend this historical fiction suspense novel with its strong characters, beautiful setting, and powerful message of encouraging victims to come forward so we can stop these predators.
Thank you to Ms. Montgomery for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
BUY THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, and amateur sports official. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include The Castle, A Light in the Desert, Wild Horses on the Salt, The Scent of Rain, and Wolf Catcher. Montgomery teaches sports reporting at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and taught high school journalism for 20 years.
She was an amateur sports official for four decades, a time during which she called baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games and served as a high school football referee and crew chief.
Montgomery is a foster mom to three sons and a daughter. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.