The beginning of this book pulls you in, because it starts with a letter that the murderer sent to true crime writer Lucas. Jeff (the murderer) tells Lucas that if he moves across the country (from NY to WA) and rents the house where 10 people died in the 80’s, he’ll grant him interviews. It’s a big deal because Jeff never talked about the crimes. We then go to Lucas and his wife fighting about the move. His wife is cheating on him, and basically breaks up with him. Lucas moves to WA and brings his daughter Virginia. The house is dated and creepy. It’s dark and closed off. Oh, and haunted.
One of the people who died in this murder house (in the 80’s – we flash back and forth) is a senator’s daughter named Audra. She meets Jeff and the crew (a cult basically), on the beach, and basically invites them to live in her house. The cult leader renames her Avis.
Both Virginia (Genie, V) and Lucas are miserable. They’re prone to dramatic snowballing depression. It’s funny (not funny haha), because Audra / Avis is too. She feels inadequate and unloved. So do V and Lucas! The cult members are into spirituality, new agey stuff, and free-ish love.
Jeff is apparently super charming and attractive. People want to do the things he wants them to. I know I’m biased because I know he’s a murderer / cult leader / suicide helper, but I think he’s a creeper. He “charmed” or menaced Audra / Avis out of taking her depression medication. It’s totally cool, she only tried to kill herself a few times before. He then rewards her by having sex with her. I can totally see how this all went wrong.
Anyway, Jeff (in the present) jerks Lucas around with the interviews. We learn about Audra / Avis from flashbacks, and that she’s totally haunting the house. I’m not normally into ghost stories, but I’m totally into murder and serial killer stories, so…
V and Lucas are both paranoid and don’t tell each other anything. It’s another case of things making more sense if people talked to each other. They’re also kinda assholes? V is only 12, so it’s ok, but Lucas is 35, so he shouldn’t be. Lucas keeps calling V (in his head) “the most important thing in my life”, but he mostly always ignores her and forgets that she exists. They definitely start going a little crazy.
By the end though, I really lost interest. Stuff kept getting mixed up, and it happened so many times, it wasn’t scary anymore. And, like I said earlier, the people we’re supposed to care about are kinda assholes. I listened to the last hour and a half on 1.4 speed. It made it much more enjoyable, because it felt like this guy:
was reading it to me. He at least makes me laugh 😉
So I guess I’ve come around to not entirely liking this book. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone either. So I guess it’s more 2.5 stars? I have to admit that I did NOT see the ending coming. So maybe 2.75 stars then?