For readers of Stephen King this novel will be familiar territory. Straub’s style reminds me a lot of King, focusing on a few characters and a creepy house in an American neighbourhood.
I have read a lot of Stephen King and find the narrator in my head sounds the same as when I’m reading Peter Straub. Indeed, the two writers have collaborated in the past on novels like “The Talisman“, which I loved when I read it back in the eighties, but I couldn’t tell which author was writing which part. In a Sunday supplement in the eighties, horror writers were asked their favourite horror novel, and the overall most popular book was “Ghost Story” by Peter Straub. This novel isn’t quite as good as “Ghost Story” but it delivers the goods. When his mum kills herself, her son Mark becomes obsessed by a local abandoned house, which had been the home of a serial killer, who later was murdered in prison. The house may not look remarkable on the outside but inside it is worthy of Josef Fritzl…with secret passages, boarded up rooms and a chute from the top floor down to the basement. The book is a page turner, Mark disappears and his uncle Tim, a writer, starts to investigate.
My rating : 4 out of 5