Book Review: Sammy Specter, Private Investigator, Public Terror

Title: Sammy Specter, Private Investigator, Public Terror (The Spirit Hauntings)
Author: Avery Spooks / Illustrator: Mariano Epelbaum
Genre: Children’s Books
Rating: 3 stars
Publication Date: August 1, 2023
Purchase: Amazon
Disclaimer: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Society of Paranormal, Invisible, and Restless Imps and Terrors has a problem: due to so-called “science,” the living are believing in ghosts less and less. To boost morale, SPIRIT is opening its doors to new members for the first time in centuries. But only the spookiest recruits will get to join the undead’s most esteemed organization.

For Sammy Specter, this is the chance of a lifetime-er, deathtime. In life, Sammy had been a famed detective until his partner stole the credit that was rightfully his. In death, Sammy plans to be your worst nightmare-and to put his old partner back in his place. But when Sammy meets third grader and tech wizard Shayla Wilkerson, all his plans seem to fall apart. Has this terror finally met his match?

Sammy Specter, Private Investigator, Public Terror is the first book in The Spirit Hauntings series. The story contains some wonderful and imaginative illustrations that bring the story to life.

As for the story itself, Sammy Specter is a ghost who longs to become a member of SPIRIT: the Society of Paranormal, Invesible and Restless Imps and Terrors. However, due to “science”, the living are believing in ghosts less and less. And even if they do believe, they’re not scared of phantoms anymore. So, SPIRIT has decided to open its doors to new members for the first time in centuries, but on one condition. In order to be able to join SPIRIT, you need to terrify the living.

Sammy starts on a quest to terrify a third-grader called Shayla Wilkerson. But as Shayla is a veritable tech wizard, he may have chosen the wrong girl to spook.

I liked the premise of the story, but the execution fell a little flat for me. I’m all for suspending disbelief and having Shayla be a tech wizard at her tender age, but it needs to be consistent. Sometimes she seemed to know everything there is to know, building her own pc at age four, writing apps, etc. and other times, she just seemed totally clueless. One moment, she seemed scared of Sammy, and the next moment, she couldn’t care less.

Despite that, I still liked the story and I’m pretty sure the intended audience will love it too. It’s definitely not too scary, and it contains a good message, especially for the tech-crazy generation of kids nowadays.


Book Review: The Foster Family by Nicole Trope

Title: The Foster Famiily
Author: Nicole Trope
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

In their holiday home, a stone’s throw from the beach, Elizabeth dials the police with trembling hands. ‘My little boy, he’s missing.’

Elizabeth is Joe’s foster mother, but she loves him like her own. The five-year-old, who adores superheroes and watching the birds outside, is the child she has dreamed of. As she looks into the garden, where he was playing just moments ago, her heart feels like it has been ripped from her chest.

She was meant to save Joe from his birth mother who almost harmed his chances at life. The woman who has been trying to desperately get him back.

She was meant to protect Joe from her husband. The man who, right now, lies to the police, saying he was making breakfast when Joe disappeared. Who squeezes her shoulder, ordering her to be quiet.

She was meant to look after Joe. They are just footsteps from the ocean, and little Joe can’t swim.

Then Joe’s tiny blue sandal is found in the water. If the worst has happened – the unimaginable – Elizabeth will never forgive herself. Because what if the secret she has been keeping for years, the guilt eating her alive, has somehow hurt her little boy?

It’s time to tell the truth – even if it means losing the child who is her whole world. Even if it could be the death of her.


In The Foster Family, Elizabeth dials the police to inform them that her son has gone missing, little Joe. Joe is in fact her foster son, and Elizabeth and her husband Howard have gone to a holiday house near the beach to relax and enjoy some quality time with their little family of three.

Told in multiple POVs, the reader soon uncovers that there’s more to this family than meets the eye and that things between Howard and Elizabeth aren’t as great as they initially appear. Each chapter pulls back layer upon layer of this mystery, recalling the events leading up to the day when Joe went missing, intermixed with chapters of the police’s frantic search for Joe.

First, the good. The characterization is well done, and each character feels three-dimensional and fully fleshed out, in particular Elizabeth, Howard and Gordon. The author’s descriptions of the illness tormenting Gordon was at times heart-breaking, but they seemed to be a spot-on description of how it feels to deal with dementia. The writing in general is solid, and the plot has enough twists to be entertaining.

Now, the bad. The pacing. I found this book to be such an incredibly slow read, it felt like the plot was crawling along. Something happened, then there were a few pages filled with details about the events, or the characters’ thoughts about it, and so on. It was also repetitive at times, and honestly I just wanted the plot to move along faster.

Despite that, I did enjoy it, and I’ll definitely pick up one of the author’s other books in the future. There’s information about her other books in the back matter, and she already has an impressive bibliography it seems.

Book Review: The Trees Grew Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca

Title: The Trees Grew Bexcause I Bled There
Author: Eric LaRocca
Genre: Horror, Anthology, Dark Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

A beautifully crafted, devastating short fiction collection from the Bram-Stoker finalist and author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes. Includes an introduction from acclaimed bestselling author Chuck Wendig.

Eight stories of dark fiction from a master storyteller. Exploring the shadow side of love, these are tales of grief, obsession, control. Intricate examinations of trauma and tragedy in raw, poetic prose. A woman imagines horrific scenarios whilst caring for her infant niece; on-line posts chronicle a cancer diagnosis; a couple in the park with their small child encounter a stranger with horrific consequences; a toxic relationship reaches a terrifying resolution…

A beautifully crafted, devastating short fiction collection from the Bram Stoker Awards® finalist and author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes.

The Trees Grew Because I Bled There is a collection of dark fiction / horror stories by Eric LaRocca, the author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We First Spoke. I enjoyed Things Have Gotten Worse Since We First Spoke, so when I saw Eric LaRocca had another upcoming collection, I jumped at the chance.

The book is quite short, or maybe it just felt that way because it’s just so enthralling to read LaRocca’s lyrical prose sketching horrors on the pages. He manages to describe the most horrific scenes in such exquisite detail, using such luxurious prose that the reader can’t help but feel fascinated and disgusted at the same time–and that’s a real skill, as an author.

The stories are also unique, each offering a fresh perspective or an interesting twist I didn’t see coming. Some stories start out familiar – or you think you’re in a familiar tale, a classic trope you’ve come to know quite well after devouring countless horror books – only to find yourself in an altogether different story. The characters breathe life on the pages, each of them complete, three-dimensional beings with desires, aspirations and most importantly: flaws.

For me personally, the most unsettling story of the collection was Bodies Are for Burning. Mostly because I’ve recently become a mother (my sweetie just four months old now), and the thoughts the main character has toward children here, are just plain disturbing. Very well written, though, and an excellent investigation of what thoughts can do to a person, and how we’re sometimes forced to fight our own most disturbing thoughts.

One of my favorite stories was The Trees Grew Because I Bled There – gods, that was disturbing but for whole other reasons. Relationships should be balanced, but here, eh, not so much. In fact, if you really picture what is happening in this story, it’s quite sickening.

If you enjoy dark fiction, then don’t hesitate. Read this collection. The prose is haunting, the stories offer twists that will leave you surprised even after you’ve finished reading them, and well, it’s just downright brilliant. Recommended to just about everyone who enjoys darker stories.

Book Review: The Horror of the Crowford Empire (The Ghosts of Crowford Book #6)

Title: The Horror of the Crowford Empire (The Ghosts of Crowford Book #6)
Author: Amy Cross
Genre: Horror, Ghosts
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The year is 1965, and Susan Jones is desperate to get out of Crowford. First, though, she needs to make enough money to finance a fresh start. She takes a series of dead-end jobs, until finally she gets hired to work at the town’s faded old cinema.

The Crowford Empire is a building with history. Before it was a cinema, the Empire was the site of a terrible tragedy. While the building has been thoroughly renovated, some elements of the past remain. Some locals even whisper the name of a woman who still walks the halls and corridors of the cinema.

Susan soon discovers that the cinema’s past is determined to bubble back to the surface. What does Winifred Thorpe’s ghost really want? How is her eternal suffering connected to the local golf club? And what happens to any poor soul who accidentally meets her face to face?

The Horror of the Crowford Empire is the sixth book in the Ghosts of Crowford series. Each book is a standalone story, and there’s no need to read them in any particular order.

My reviews of previous books in the series:

In The Horror of the Crowford Empire, the sixth book in the Ghosts of Crowford series, in which each book can be read as a stand-alone, it’s the year 1965. Susan Jones finds herself working at the faded old cinema in town – the Crowford Empire.

Before the building was a cinema, it was the site of a horrible tragedy and it is said that the ghost of Winifred Thorpe still roams the halls. When Susan finds signs of hauntings and a connection to the building’s past, she’s in more danger than she realizes.

This book unfortunately wasn’t my favorite in the Crowford series. I simply disliked most of the characters. There’s no other way to put it: most characters were either bland, or off-putting, or just simply annoying. Except for Harry. Him I liked. Anyway, the story is also not that original, it’s just a rehearsal of the stereotypical classical ghost story: vengeful ghost trapped due to the horrific ending they suffered, and now out for revenge. There weren’t many twists or parts that kept me guessing, and all in all, it was rather straightforward.

If you’re interested in giving this series a shot, don’t start with this one, but if you plan to read the entire series, you shouldn’t skip it either. It’s not as great as some of the other Crowford books, but it’s definitely worth a read.


Book Review: The Haunting of the Crowford Hoy (The Ghosts of Crowford Book #5)

Title: The Haunting of the Crowford Hoy (The Ghosts of Crowford Book #5)
Author: Amy Cross
Genre: Horror, Ghosts
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The year is 1984, and Sally Cooper arrives in Crowford with her desperately ill son Tommy. Having secured a job in one of the local pubs, Sally hopes to start a new life, but tragedy soon strikes and she’s left clinging to the hope that her son’s ghost will appear.

As the months roll past, Sally begins to give up hope, until one day a friend makes a shocking suggestion. If the spirits of the Crowford Hoy refuse to show themselves, is it time to do something that might catch their attention? Although she’s reluctant at first, Sally soon comes around to the idea, but she has no idea of the dangers that are waiting to be unleashed in the pub’s darkest shadows.

What happened to Annie Ashton, the girl who disappeared from the pub many years ago? Why is the spirit of Mildred Weaver out for revenge? And once a connection to the undead has been opened, can Sally ever hope to force it shut again?

The Haunting of the Crowford Hoy is the fifth book in the Ghosts of Crowford series. Each book is a standalone story, and there’s no need to read them in any particular order.

My reviews of previous books in the series:

Like the other books in the series, The Haunting of the Crowford Hoy can be read as a stand-alone. It features different characters than the other books, and the only common denominator is that all these books are set in the fictional town of Crowford, where there are more ghosts than people (it seems) and where its inhabitants have already been subjected to every possible terror known to mankind.

Sally moved to Crowford in 1984 along with her son Tommy, who unfortunately is very ill. When Tommy passes away, Sally is desperate to communicate with his spirit, but she seems to be the only person in Crowford who has trouble running into any ghosts whatsoever – even the famous ghosts of the Crowford Hoy refuse to appear. But when Sally makes a foolhardy decision to see the ghosts of the Crowford Hoy, she has no idea what she signed up for.

It’s a good story, with some unexpected twists, and it definitely shows that you shouldn’t interfere with powers you don’t understand. The only downside, like with some of the other books by this author, is that there are sometimes continuity errors. For example, names being mixed-up. I understand it happens and Amy Cross is an indie author who writes a lot of new books each year – and I’m thankful for that, as I insta-buy and read most of them – but it can be a bit confusing when reading. A proofreading session for each book would be a good idea, I think.

Either way, like the other books in this series, it has a solid plot, the characters are flawed, and the pacing is so fast I flew through the pages. On to the next Crowford adventure.

Book Review: The Carrefour Curse by Dianne K. Salerni

Title: The Carrefour Curse
Author: Dianne K. Salerni
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The Addams Family meets The Westing Game in this exhilarating mystery about a modern magical dynasty trapped in the ruins of their once-grand, now-crumbling ancestral home.

Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.

But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden.

Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?

Written with loads of creepy atmosphere and an edge-of-your-seat magical mystery, this thrilling story reads like The Haunting of Hill House for preteens. Perfect for late-night reading under the covers.

The Carrefour Curse is a delightful book for young teens who loved watching the TV series Wednesday or Lockwood & Co – the book blurb makes references to the Addams Family, and it’s indeed a bit similar, although the Carrefour family tree is a lot more complicated, I have to say!

Twelve-year-old Garnet doesn’t really know most members of her family. Her mother has done whatever she can to keep Garnet away from the Carrefour clan and their magical abilities – although Garnet does have magic of her own. In particular, her mother seems terrified of the house she and her siblings, aunts and uncles, grew up in: Crossroad House.

But when Garnet and her mother get summoned to Crossroad House – actually, magically summoned – Garnet finally gets to meet her family including the dying family patriarch who is downright creepy. The more time Garnet spends at Crossroad House, the more she begins to realize the house is cursed… And it may be up to Garnet to break the family curse.

The book is a bit dark, but then again, I remember my favorite books as a young teen were the stories with a dark edge to them. Here, despite the dark elements, the focus is on family, and you can really feel the love the Carrefour family has for one another dripping from the pages – at least, most members of the family, that is.

I also liked the references to gemstones and their meaning at the beginning of each chapter. It worked really well with the theme of magic throughout the book, as Garnet’s magic and that of some of her relatives, are related to gemstones.

While the book works perfectly well as a stand-alone, I wouldn’t mind if this one got a sequel. I’m definitely intrigued to find out more about the Carrefour family, and I have a feeling they might have more stories to tell.

Book Review: Mouse Trap by Caryn Larrinaga

Title: Mouse Trap
Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Genre: Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Death haunts the Scott family home.

Twenty years ago, Dakota Scott’s baby brother died falling down the back stairs. Twenty-four hours ago, her older brother, Lennox, wasted away into nothing in the same house. Two deaths, just floors apart, yet no one suspects a connection.

Settling Lennox’s affairs lures Dakota back to the family’s old Victorian home overlooking Astoria. It has changed over the years—what was once a happy home is now filled with sadness, strange memories, and lights that won’t stay lit.

In the ever-growing darkness, a sinister force has awakened from a long slumber, and it is far from finished with Dakota. Her life and sanity hang in the balance—alongside everything she holds dear.

Fans of Shirley Jackson, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Elizabeth Engstrom will love the quiet horror in this modern gothic tale.

Mouse Trap is the first book I’ve read by author Caryn Larrinaga, but if it’s up to me, it definitely won’t be my last. This book is a modern gothic, spinning a delicious mix of dread and eeriness right from the first page.

Twenty years ago, Kai, Dakota’s baby brother, died falling down the stairs of their ancestral home. Now, her brother Lennox has also been found dead in the same house, although by all accounts it looks like he died naturally – before his time surely, but naturally.

Dakota and her parents return home to handle Lennox’s affairs and arrange the funeral. But as soon as Dakota sets foot inside her childhood home, the sadness is almost too much to bear. And the more time she spends inside the house, the more memories she recalls of her childhood, and the sinister force that threatened her and her siblings… And that maybe, just maybe, never really let go.

I saw in some other reviews that people complained about the lack of spookiness, but honestly, I thought it was just the right amount of spooky. I don’t like “in-your-face” horror; I prefer my horror to be creepy, unsettling, but subtle enough that it creeps up on you slowly until you find yourself looking over your shoulder while reading. And that’s exactly what happened to me while reading Mouse Trap.

It’s a novella, so it’s a quick read, and the author tackles important subjects such as grief, family, going home. One of my favorite reads of the year thus far.

Book Review: Courted by Curses (Cursed in Secrets #2)

Title: Courted by Curses (Cursed in Secrets #2)
Author: Ashley Amy
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Reverse Harem
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Things would never be the same after the beginning of our secrets unraveled. Like they say about lies spinning a web, we were all caught in the center of the same snare.
Leading to certain people that would destroy us, it was time to put our differences aside in order to save ourselves. But what about the side of me that I didn’t know?
My family had their own abundance of secrets they never shared with me. It left me feeling like the prey in a game I never knew I had been playing.
With the cursed gods at my side, I just hoped they would help me figure out my history. I had to hope they believed me when it came to me lacking the knowledge of my parent’s past.

Check out my review of the previous book in the series, Housed by Haunts, here.

After finishing Housed by Haunts, I was interested to start the second book, Courted by Curses. This book starts right where the previous one left off. Our gang has locked themselves in an office hiding away from two Olympian gods: Zeus and Hades. But the office gives access to deeper tunnels, and leads Brielle to uncover secrets about her past that could help explain why she seems to collect mates left and right, and why two Olympian gods are after her.

I liked how in this book, the male love interests finally start to acknowledge they actually have feelings for Brielle. In the first book, they spend the better half of the book pushing those feelings away, but here they start embracing how they truly feel.

Plus, I don’t want to give any plot spoilers, but the whole thing with Steer? Uhm, no, thanks, no.

I’m not all that fond of the idea of “mates” either. I know it’s a popular trope, but I much prefer slow-burns or medium-burns where the guys fall for the girl because of her personality, their connection, her humor, you name it. But just because she’s your “mate”, that feels a little cheap. I do see Brielle having connections to some of the characters, notably Talus, Prome and Syph, but that’s where it ends.

Xion was already established as her “mate” as from book one, but he’s the least interesting of the guys and he just seems like a doormat. The others have personalities, Xion is just bland. And Steer is… well, there are no words. I probably would’ve enjoyed the book more if he didn’t make an appearance in it.

Also, the ending still leaves us with a lot of cliffhangers and unfortunately, although at the end of book one, I was intrigued to find out more, now I’m feeling less enthusiastic. I’m still looking forward to reading how all these plotlines connect and why Brielle can do what she does, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first, unfortunately.

Book Review: Housed by Haunts (Cursed in Secrets #1)

Title: Housed by Haunts (Cursed in Secrets #1)
Author: Ashley Amy
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Reverse Harem
Rating: 2 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The gods abandoned us.
Life was not like we once knew.
They grew envious of our reliance on technology rather than prayer. In their haste to depart and forsake this world, they left us a parting present, one that would surely end the human race.
Now at the bottom of the barrel, women were scraping to get by. A disease had come. It wiped out majority of fertility in females, placing those who could bear children back to being the low man on the totem pole.
Only seen as broodmares, we were reserved solely for the right to breed. Sold to more than one man, we were to become endowed to a house. Inside, we were subject to the demands of our men’s desires to keep the population rising.
Once I hit puberty, I tested to be a prime specimen for their ruthless requirements.
All of this because those with power wanted to prove how much control they still had.
I spent several years in the academy, learning to be a docile female for their use. For no more worth than the uterus in my body, I had come of age to be marketed off to a house.
The daft idea might not fare on my behalf, but it also offered a freedom from being treated like a porcelain doll in the school I was forced to attend.
Filled with dread, I was about to find out what it was that made porcelain so fragile.

Housed by Haunts is the first book in the Cursed in Secrets series. There are five books total in this series. It’s my first series by this author, and I’m not entirely sure what to think at this point.

The mythology and world-building starts out a little flimsy, but it does progress and grow more interesting. Brielle has a hard life thus far, but despite all the hardships, she stands her ground and she actually has quite a strong personality – surprising given the world she’s inhabiting in which women don’t have much say.

The book isn’t very forgiving toward the other women in the book, though, except maybe Lois, and I thought that was a real shame. Why should the heroine be the only redeeming female character, and the others be one-dimensional and cruel toward other women? This bugged me the most. You don’t have to tear down other female characters to make the heroine shine–a heroine can shine in her own light.

I did breeze through the book, and it definitely had its moments. There’s a slow to medium burn build-up with the male love interests, and that’s quite well done. I do look forward to starting book two, and I hope the author expands upon the world-building and mythology, because those are the most interesting parts to me.

Book Review: A Good House for Children by Kate Collins

Title: A Good House for Children
Author: Kate Collins
Genre: Horror, Ghosts
Rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: March 2, 2023
Purchase: Amazon

The dazzling debut novel from Kate Collins—a feminist gothic mystery spanning decades, in the vein of Mexican Gothic and The Essex Serpent.

Once upon a time Orla was: a woman, a painter, a lover. Now she is a mother and a wife, and when her husband Nick suggests that their city apartment has grown too small for their lives, she agrees, in part because she does agree, and in part because she is too tired to think about what she really does want. She agrees again when Nick announces with pride that he has found an antiquated Georgian house on the Dorset cliffs—a good house for children, he says, tons of space and gorgeous grounds. But as the family settles into the mansion—Nick absent all week, commuting to the city for work—Orla finds herself unsettled. She hears voices when no one is around; doors open and close on their own; and her son Sam, who has not spoken in six months, seems to have made an imaginary friend whose motives Orla does not trust.

Four decades earlier, Lydia moves into the same house as a live-in nanny to a grieving family. Lydia, too, becomes aware of intangible presences in the large house, and she, like Orla four decades later, becomes increasingly fearful for the safety of the children in her care. But no one in either woman’s life believes her: the stories seem fanciful, the stuff of magic and mayhem, sprung from the imaginations of hysterical women who spend too much time in the company of children.

Are both families careening towards tragedy? Are Orla and Lydia seeing things that aren’t there? What secrets is the house hiding? A feminist gothic tale perfectly suited for the current moment, A Good House for Children combines an atmospheric mystery with resonant themes of motherhood, madness, and the value of a woman’s work.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that gripped me the way A Good House for Children did. I still can’t quite get over how amazing I thought this book was.

If you know me, you probably know I’m a huge fan of haunted house stories. It’s literally my favourite type of story. Gothic novels featuring sprawling mansions set in a desolate landscape? I’m in. I never turn down any book that has this kind of premise. Still, after reading dozens, if not hundreds, of books with more-or-less the same premise, it’s difficult to surprise me when presenting me with the haunted-house-trope. But then came along A Good House for Children, and I’m not just surprised; I’m completely blown away.

The Reeve. A haunted house like no other. Standing on the edge of the Dorset cliffs, it looks down upon the village below, upon the unforgiving sea, and upon mankind itself. The sprawling estate, large and (un)welcoming, seems the perfect house to raise kids.

At least, that’s what Orla’s husband Nick, tries to convince her of. But the moment Orla moves into the house, she already feels something is wrong with the bones of the house. The house is wrong. Its atmosphere, but also the way time moves inside the house, sometimes crawling slowly, other times making hours disappear in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t help that Nick is away for most of the week, leaving Orla alone with her young son Sam and her baby daughter Bridie.

The book alternates between Orla’s story and Lydia’s story, set in the 1976s, so a good forty years earlier. Lydia moves into The Reeve as live-in nanny for four young children who have recently lost their father. Offering also emotional support to the mother, Lydia struggles to find a balance between taking care of the children and urging their mother to spend more time with the children.

Loneliness plays a pivotal role in this book. We are all ghosts, as Kate Collins so pointedly writes in her novel. Ghosts of our pasts, ghosts of our what-could-be’s and what-will-never-be’s. Although Lydia is surrounded by another adult and four children, she is at her core, alone. For Orla, the loneliness is even more suffocating as her partner is not hidden in an upstairs room, but commutes to the city for most of the week, leaving her to fend for herself–and her kids–against forces that prey on every weakness.

The book takes it time to set the pace, to picture the characters, allowing you time, as a reader, to get to know the inhabitants of The Reeve. But as you devour page after page, an unsettled feeling starts creeping in. This isn’t in-your-face horror, no. It’s the subtle, atmospheric horror that is a million times more terrifying. It’s the type of horror that makes you wonder if you really did leave that piece of paper out on the kitchen table the next morning, or if you did leave your keys where you found them and not in another location. Is your memory foggy, or is something more troubling going on? That’s how the events in The Reeve start, with small, unsettling tidbits that gradually develop into an all-consuming horror that leaves the reader shaken, long after having finished the tale.

The prose is haunting (what a fitting word here), lyrical without being overdone, and it really lifts this book to the next level. I’m actually surprised this is the author’s debut, just because of how solid the prose is. Reading this almost feels like a poem, or a lullaby, where one sentence guides you effortlessly into the next.

I can’t wait for this author’s next book. If you enjoy haunted house stories, or just really well-written stories with a creepy vibe, then don’t hesitate for a second, just read A Good House for Children. You won’t be dissapointed.