First, let me be clear. I'm a horror snob. Although I love horror, I am *very* picky. Too often, horror translates into gory, gratuitous brutality with a lot of smarmy sex thrown in. I've put down at least a dozen books half-read because the plot (if there was one) was hidden under layers of dreck.
Don't get me wrong, though. Frisch's Cure is graphic, bloody, and disturbing; not for the faint of heart. HOWEVER, it also knows not to cross the line. In my opinion, the best thing a horror author can do is make the reader squirm (instead of vomit), and this tension-filled novel made me squirm! Frisch has an amazing (and rare) ability to tie her reader in knots without offering too many disturbing details. Kudos to the author.
Now, having said that, I would have given the book 4 1/2 stars if half stars were allowed. That's because Cure offers precious little in way of buildup. The tension starts out at a nine and immediately bursts into a ten, making it difficult to raise the stakes. What you start with at the beginning is pretty much what you get at the end. The plot is straightforward with only one or maybe two surprises. The characters, too, remain very unknown throughout the book. They aren't cardboard so much as strangers that we never get to know.
Like I said, I'm a horror snob, and I prefer old school horror ala Stephen King who is a master of character building. The problem with a book like Cure is that because readers don't get close to the characters, what happens to them isn't as interesting as it could be. I was also confused about the Nixon Center (a research facility in the story) since on one hand, the place received a lot of negative attention from outsiders, yet the locals seemed perfectly okay with it, even when strange events started surrounding it. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, because the story immediately kick-starts, there's nowhere to go. After a while, the action becomes repetitive.
This, however, is more of a personal preference. I'm a patient reader who tolerates *a lot* of character development. Many readers (dare I say nowadays??) want pure action. If this is the case, then the book is for you. Even if this isn't the case, Cure is a strong horror story from a terrific author. I'll definitely be moving on to the other books in the series.