She ripped a corner from the page and put it into her mouth.
The house creaked again.
She imagined the paper re-forming in her belly. She imagined the words dissolving off the paper and sinking into her bloodstream. She imagined her body filled with words. Made up of them. Words instead of blood, words instead of organs.
This is a deeply atmospheric story. After Jane’s father dies, she and her mom move away, back into her mom’s childhood home, now empty. New town, new school, new friends and even a new job. Jane’s new life in Maine isn’t so bad, except for the fact that she’s somehow managed to make an enemy. Oh and there’s something strange going on at the North Manor.
Katrina Leno definitely managed to convey the creepiness of the manor to the reader. Even the town itself seems to be an extension of the manor, as though all evil comes from this specific isolated spot. Her writing is also surprisingly elegant. Not the adjective I would typically have used to describe the writing style of a horror/suspense story, but there you have it. Its elegance actually contributes to the atmosphere and I personally had an enjoyable reading experience.
The cast of characters is limited, and no one plays as big a role as June. No one really holds a candle to her, seeing that we really see and feel everything through her. The author doesn’t hide that there are paranormal forces at play at the manor. The word ‘‘ghost’’ even appears in the book’s description, so it will not come as a shock to anyone. There are, however, some surprises and I certainly liked the Agatha Christie reference, which I found smart and fresh. It’s also one of those books that does not aim to please and whose story seems to gradually take a life of its own. I recommend it to all fans of slow suspense and horror books.
Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for an honest review.