Title: The Crooked House
Author: Christobel Kent
Published by: Sarah Crichton Books
Summary: In a past life Alison was Esme, a teenage girl living in a Crooked House, who believed her family was happy. That was shattered the night she came home early from a friend's. Up in her room, she hears the BOOM BOOM BOOM, and then silence. Her family has been slaughtered and everyone thinks her barely alive father did it. Esme can't stay, and so she becomes Alison, and starts a new life.
13 years later, Alison lives in the city, works in a job where she can keep her head down, and is dating an older man. She never talks about who she was before.
One day, her boyfriend brings up a friend's wedding that he wants her to go to. The wedding is being held in the place of her nightmares, where the Crooked House stands vigil, where the blood stains everything. She tries to make excuses not to go, but none of them work.
As soon as she steps on that marshy soil, everything she has managed to push away and hide bombards her. The village of her youth is full of secrets, secrets the beg to be uncovered.
My Thoughts: Brava! Brava! What a ride. This book hypnotized me, it held me immobile, and wouldn't let me go. The atmosphere was dark and strange. The village was full of disquiet. The Crooked House stood as a silent sentinel, constantly reminding of the horrific past. I was weirdly captivated by this read. It has been blurbed as reminiscent of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and I don't think that claim is a lie.
I wouldn't say this book was perfect. It was a very slow read. It was captivating, but very slow going. It felt like a two hour episode of Dateline, where you're highly invested in the story, but it's being drawn out for as long as it possibly can. There were so many times I just wanted to flip to the end, just to finally reveal who-done-it. It is worth it to trudge through this marshland of a story, just expect to get waylaid every now and then.
The ending was pretty crazy, pretty edge-of-your-seat. I didn't exactly suspect our true villain, how everything turned out.
This book was a fun time, dark and twisty, but a lot of fun. Perfect for any spooky season you want to read it in.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.7/5
Tragedy leaves a dark stain.