Author: Mia Zabrisky
Publisher Mia Zabrisky Books (December 14, 2012)
Reviewer: Dana Micheli
As I read the first three installments of Mia Zabrisky’s Shudderville series, there was one main question in my mind: just who is Tobias Mandelbaum? Is he a sorcerer gone bad, or the devil himself?
Shudderville Part Four answers that question, at least in part, with the story of Mandelbaum himself. Like his victims, he too was once idealistic and hopelessly in love. Once, he too had a wish and its fulfillment cost him all he held dear. Twisted and bitter, he has destroyed countless lives, seemingly for no other reason than his own pleasure. But as we learn in Part Four, there is indeed a method to his madness. Now his plans are being threatened by Sophie McKnight, the young mother whose life he ruined in Part One. Of the long list of people who want revenge on Tobias, and the even longer list of those who simply want to “undo” the wish he granted them, Sophie is the only one willing to go the ends of the earth to bring him down. She pursues him relentlessly, only to find that she and Mandelbaum have more in common than she ever could have imagined.
Zabrisky’s skill as a storyteller is never as apparent as it is in Shudderville Part Four. The showdown between Mandelbaum and Sophie is subtle, powerful and as a sensitive as a landmine. Each goes to lengths previously unimaginable, and we are again reminded that so much of our behavior is driven by circumstance. It is this view into the darkness of the desperate heart that makes Zabrisky’s work truly terrifying.