This is the type of book that begs to be read in one sitting. It draws you in not with a Michael Myers stabs-his-sister sort of scene that instantly shocks, but with a whisper around a crackling campfire, a story told in a low voice that makes you draw your jacket around you tighter, sit closer to the flames, and try not to think about what might be watching in the dark behind your back, beyond that bright ring of safety.
I really don’t know why I’ve never heard of this book before! I was completely enamored with the style, which I thought moved seamlessly between second and third person in a way that showed a clear talent for writing that is not as easy to find as you’d think.
It is also the perfect book for the Halloween season.
I loved the way the narrative took pieces of pre-existing legends, some classic Halloween tropes, and creepy small-town vibes and mixed them together to create something entirely new and original. The way the story builds to the ultimate reveal is paced so well and that makes it all the more thrilling and heartbreaking—I truly loved every page.
What I found most compelling about the book was the way the characters grew and shifted throughout the book. You begin the book thinking about everyone one way, putting them all in one specific box, but by the end, it’s all twisted around and no one was exactly who they appeared to be on the outside. I really like that as a storytelling and character-building technique.
This will probably become a seasonal re-read for me. There is just something so evocative about the setting and the characters—it is everything I want from horror and from a damn fine story, and I’ll definitely be searching out more of Partridge’s work.
Also, wouldn’t this make a great movie? Dang, I would watch this.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.