I am a card carrying member of the arachnophobia club. I’ve run into a spiderweb while mowing and come out of my panicked state in my neighbors yard having mowed over their shrubbery. I’ve sprayed an entire can of scrubbing bubbles on one spider because I couldn’t stop screeching long enough to see if it was already dead. I don’t do spiders.
So, that I’m telling you this is a horror/thriller book worthy of your attention is a big deal. Nicholas is a haunted man both mentally and literally. Blaming himself for his wife’s untimely death, he moves back to Australia to live with his mother. He had hoped the move would also stop his visions of ghosts reliving the final moments of their lives in the location of their demise. It didn’t. To make matters worse, returning to his childhood home brings up memories of events and the woods that helped shape him into the shattered man he is today.
What I liked about this book was the combination of building tension as the story unfolds coupled with the intelligent almost poetic prose that made the reading experience incredibly visual and evocative. The characters are well-developed and I didn’t realize it until the end but besides Nicholas, almost every supportive character in the book is a woman. I do not think this a coincidence. I had to read in small doses and only during the day but towards the end, it was impossible to put down and I read well into the night…and then didn’t sleep for two days. Creepy, haunting and unforgettable. 2010, 374 pages.