Originally published 2016-10-19: UNKNOWN SENDER: Mysterious texts drive one college girl to the brink in Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz
Have you ever been spooked by a text message or call from a number you didn’t recognize?
The college student in the story I’m reviewing today gets a first-hand taste of what it’s like for someone to know too much – WAY too much – about you and your activities.
In the beginning, Jessica seems like just another typical college girl. She studies a lot and eats minimally nutritious, microwaveable meals that you can buy in bulk from any grocery store for not much cash. She’s kind of a loner, but that’s okay, because her roommate is a go-getter; the social butterfly wants to roam, and she drags Jessica along whether she likes it or not.
The thing that makes Jessica different, however, isn’t that she doesn’t fit in. It’s that someone she doesn’t know is texting her creepy, cryptic things. Things no one could know unless they were watching her closely.
Jessica’s world revolves around studying at college and affording prepackaged meals, which leaves little time for socializing. In fact, she is quite content without being noticed, which only makes the attention of a mystery texter all the more unwanted.
She isn’t unfamiliar with strange advances, but this is something entirely different. This person knows things about her. Things beyond just an average stalker.
Even after all that, Jessica would be much more content to forget than discover who is chasing her, electronically or otherwise. Eventually, she finds out that she can’t outrun her past.
When I picked this up, I thought it was a full-length book; probably because I’m not in the habit of reading ALL of a description page. (My fault.) So I was a little sad when the story ended so quickly. But I liked the way it progressed, the characters, and the surprise (at least to me) ending.
Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz gets five of five stars for being simultaneously creeping and fast-paced, for drawing me in without telling me too much, and for making me turn page after page to try to find out who the mysterious stalker was. Recommended if you like thriller short stories!
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