Gated is a thrilling story with twists and turns that will take you for a ride with an ending you won’t see coming.
Sam and Claire have just relocated to a gated community in West Virginia, leaving their busy and chic lives in Washington DC. After Sam is diagnosed with early dementia, he decides that he would rather spend his remaining coherent time outside of DC. So, they purchase a beautiful home that is listed suspiciously well below market value in Frontier Village, a gated community filled with stunning but empty homes. It all seems unnatural and out of place. There are no kids or people walking around; the 15-foot wall surrounds the entire community and is equipped with security cameras and guard stations; the real estate broker can’t answer many of their questions about the community. Something wasn’t sitting right with Claire, but is it because she is so resistant to the idea of a suburban lifestyle? Is it just her anxiety getting the best of her?
As they are settling in and meeting some of the neighbors, Sam is called away for work several times. Claire struggles to adjust while Sam is away; she thinks more about her dead sister, slips into alcoholism, and notices several abnormal things – a dog that keeps appearing out of nowhere, a black bird looking in her window, security guards overreacting with local kids, the locked room in her basement. Claire decides to go back to DC to visit a friend for an evening, where she ends up drugged and taken by CIA agents claiming that Sam maybe a Russian spy, along with the friends they have made in Frontier Village. Could that explain why Sam keeps disappearing for work? Is that why there is so much security in their community? Or is there another unworldly explanation for what is going on?
J.D Ventura has created a fast-paced storyline that is hard to put down. The characters that are developed are interesting and vivid. Marie and Jess could have been developed a little for a more rounded out cast of characters. The author does an excellent job in setting the scenes, creating emotions, and providing back story. So much so that the reader will feel as though they are in the story themselves. While the ending may not satisfy every reader, you will not be bored with this book.