Max's post below started me thinking about suspense and how good it can be. Why is it that suspense seems to work better visually in a movie say, than in a book. Everyone's watched a movie and started yelling at the screen, right? It work so well when you the audience is given information that the characters aren't and you have to watch them work against that. In books, it works so differently in my opinion.
Why does The Cottagers work so well? We know how Nicholas died, we knew from the first chapter that one of these cottagers was probably going to die. So after he dies, how do you sustain the narrative? Why should we keep reading? What worked well in this book I think was that I couldn't wait to see how the characters would react to Nicholas's death. And how would they react to the intense questioning from the authorities? And the ending, well, I won't give it away here. But suffice it to say, I wasn't expecting it really. I loved that Klimasewiski chose to go without the neat wrap up at the end. It didn't have the same suspenseful punch of watching Hitchcock, but I think that's what makes this book work.