The Smell of Cedar by River Dixon (Review)

The Smell of Cedar by River Dixon

Trigger warning: Male rape, child abuse, torture

About the author

When once asked for an author bio, River Dixon was quoted as saying, “Life is pretty good these days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember. It’s quite easy, too easy, to slip back to what once was, realizing it still is. Fortunately, I have the knowledge that there is an underlying hope in all this, and that is one of the greatest gifts the years have given me.”

When asked what she thought of his writing, his wife answered, “I don’t know, he puts his soup in the freezer and ice cream in the microwave. I think that just about says it all.”

River Dixon and his family are currently trapped in the incessant heat and beauty of Arizona.


Sarah’s day was already off to a bad start when the arrival of a strange package from an unknown sender sent her spiralling into a state of paranoia. Memories of a tortured childhood in her grandmother’s care taunt her as she tries to piece together the events of the past few months—the events that have led up to this day. She’s convinced that a killer is coming for her, and it’s become a race against time and madness to figure out who is pulling the strings in this game of hunt or be hunted.


I saw this book on a fellow blogger’s site and thought it sounded really good so I immediately downloaded it on the Kindle and started to read it. Oh how misleading the blurb is.

The beginning of the book started off well and I was hooked but then it went downhill fast and I was also left with a few unanswered questions which I also found annoying. The character Sarah has a great deal of issues and they are not her fault. Her grandmother created what Sarah is today and you can’t help but feel sorry for Sarah when reading Sarah’s flashbacks of her life with her grandmother.

However, Sarah as an adult is a different kettle of fish. It all starts off so normal but then it spirals quickly. Towards the end of this book I will be honest I had to skim read certain parts just to make sure I could sleep that night and also not throw up.

I will say that this book has probably upset me more than any other book I have read. I can’t even say I recommend it and that does not often happen and I always try to find a positive with a book and give it a chance. The book was well written and does hook you in but it really was not my cup of tea and I wish to forget it as soon as possible.

A disturbing read that I only give 1 Dragon to.

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