I discovered gothic novels as a teenager, in our small public library that was housed in a...well, old house. It was creaky and tiny and smelled musty...but I LOVED it. And spending time in it. I'm not sure if I liked gothics b/c I was hooked on mysteries (thank you, Nancy Drew?) or vice versa but I know I spent hours scouring the shelves, discovering fabulous books and writers. At any rate, I was excited about reading "Moonrise" (even before I found out King was married to Pat Conroy!) b/c I figured it would bring me back to those sweltering summer days counterbalanced by the spooky chill I found in the books.
Initially, I liked Moonrise - the perfect set up of an old spooky house, old friends who are suspicious of the new young bride, and a wife tragically killed under suspicious circumstances. I enjoyed the way King switched narratives, giving the reader a window into each of the characters' thoughts. But then at some point, it started to drag. And the main character, "The Bride," became a caricature - the others would describe her as a ditz, and that's how I began to see her. King throws in some good red herrings, and I was intrigued (and this kept me reading). About 3/4 of the way through, the villain becomes clear, not much of a surprise since he/she is so unlikable anyway. I wanted to give Moonrise 4 stars, but I just can't, and I'm not sure why. It was enjoyable to be sure, fairly well written, emotive, descriptive...it just didn't knock my socks off.
NOTE: I was given an e-galley of this book through Library Thing's Early Reviewer's program.