Years ago, I worked a late night shift at a security desk. The human body is simply not built for such work. Try as I might, I never really adjusted. I kept hearing noises and thinking there was a looming presence nearby. I gave my ghosts names. I learned to lean into the creepiness, even though I thought disaster was looming at every turn. It’s the typical paranoia induced by a lack of sleep and company. Night shift fiction often takes me back to those times.
Simone St. James gets that paranoia down well in this one, only she brings it to life in what can best be described as a mystery/horror hybrid. Those kinds of books are not usually my thing but St. James is a talented writer. She layers the story well and made me care about the characters. The flashback/flash-forward narrative again is not something I always go for but the stories are linked well, their connections are real without feeling forced, and the whole thing is something that’s easy to sink into. Her 1982 felt as real as her 2017, in part because of the details she sprinkled in both, more so the former, without them feeling gratuitous.
I don’t always get into page-turning books but this one, I was turning as fast as I could. Even as I anticipated some of the twists, and was kind of annoyed by one in particular, I liked this one. I’d recommend it to folks who like whodunnit and don’t mind a little horror to go with it.