Ryan Lanz’s short novelette is a glimpse into the world of a disturbed mind. Unknown Sender is the story of Jessica, an insecure girl in college, or at least that is how the story starts out. Jessica is portrayed as a loner, few friends and no current love interest. She rooms with the bright and peppy Aubrey, who is Jessica’s opposite in every way. Jessica is jealous of Aubrey. The story revolves around some disturbing text messages that Jessica receives as the two are getting ready to go to a party. The text messages continue to be received at the party. Who sends them and why are the questions to be answered. Is Aubrey’s boyfriend sending them? Is Aubrey sending them? Someone else from Jessica’s past? Or….
Despite the story being short — 25 pages, and a bit of clunky language, Unknown Sender was an enjoyable read packed with tension and excitement. The end was good, and a bit unexpected, though not totally as Lanz dropped hints early onto what drove the demons that stalked Jessica. The interplay between these demons, Jessica’s reaction to the text messages and the resolution of the story I wished had been explored more in-depth. Unknown Sender has the ability to be a gripping psychological mystery.
This reviewer was provided with a copy for an honest critique.