The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers.
Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.
Sometimes all you need is a spine chilling haunted house
mystery and this book certainly delivered – Alice and her family move to a new
house and soon family members start disappearing one by one.
I loved the author’s writing style; it was very descriptive and completely set the scene without ruining the build up of tension. Things gradually got creepier and creepier until we’re hit with an unexpected and nasty conclusion.
This story shares a lot of vibes with the Shining: a family trapped in close quarters as they begin to behave in unexpected ways. The story itself is totally different but I got the same feeling of claustrophobia and dread watching an ordinary family fall apart, questioning how much is caused by supernatural influence and how much is just people being people.
I did feel that Alice was a little bit too precocious for an 11 year old and was a bit disturbed by how few fucks were given about the family cat, but otherwise I loved everything about this book – especially that the story has left me with questions. The best books are the ones that stick with you after you finish the last page!
This book isn’t particularly gory, though it does have its moments – the horror mostly lies in the suspense and the way the characters interact with one another. I highly recommend this book as an addition to any good horror collection.