I love a good slow-burning novel, where the tension really keeps you on edge, not knowing when the lid is going to pop off and all the proverbial you-know-what is going to hit the fan.
This book did not check those boxes for me, try as it might.
The whole premise is based on these strange notes, left on paper, in mirrors, on the side of the house, telling West and his family that they are being watched. But I was so confused, as I spent more than half the book thinking that it was one type of story, and I just didn't understand the way that all of the characters just accepted the grandfather's (lack of) explanation of the notes—all of them just giving in to the fact that there wasn't anything they could do and that they would be stalked and watched no matter what they did.
It is hard to explain my frustration and confusion without potentially spoiling the plot, so this next part is spoiler-y. Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read it. Basically, I think you're supposed to think the house is haunted, but none of the characters ever do . . . They all think that it is some group of people. But the way the notes are left—one on the bathroom mirror in the steam while someone is showering, for example—it seems crazy to think that people are doing that. How do they have access to the house? How are they so quiet? ERG. It doesn't make any sense, and neither do those weird messages.
The main thrust of the plot follows West, but the book does switch perspective to his mom and dad and a few other characters, which I found jarring. I wish it could have been contained to one perspective, or the narration could have been smoothed out a little more.
This book also falls into my least favorite storytelling trap, which is that there is no chance that the reader could have solved the mystery. You are not given all the pieces of the puzzle to figure out exactly what's going on until it is revealed to you, with plenty of backstory over-explaining. Snore.
If you're looking for a great book by Hunter Shea, I much preferred Creature and would recommend that one.
My thanks to Sinister Grin Press for sending a copy of this one to read and review.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.