No Safe House

by Diane Poulin
ISBN: 0921833938

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A Review of: No Safe House
by W. P. Kinsella

No Safe House is a story whose author couldn't decide at what audience to aim the story. It is juvenile one moment and adult the next. Two bratty 12-year-old girls are the main characters. They do the silly things 12-year-olds do-spy on their neighbors in a quiet Winnipeg suburb, hide out in a graveyard, keep a notebook of what they see, and speculate about an odd lady who, wearing a raincoat, walks around the neighborhood three times a day year-round. But things are not quite as they seem. There is a slightly deranged housewife with a new baby and two toddlers, who seduces a neighbor, while one of the teenyboppers is physically abused by her mother. Then a number of dogs are poisoned. As well, there is a home invasion where a kindly old couple are terrorized. That's about it. None of these events come together. The home invaders are outsiders. One of the first things creative writing students are taught is "Show, don't Tell," but the author ignores this admonition completely as she tacks on a chapter at the end to tell how the dogs got poisoned. For a short book there is a lot of filler, with pointless conversations between the young girls. A very amateur effort.

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