This is one of those books where the less said, the better. I’d recommend not even reading the premise, not because of spoilers but because it will allow you to make the journey easier. It’s a horror tale but it’s not your typical guts-and-gore horror tale. It’s psychological but in a way you’re probably not expecting. It’s literary, but not too haughty. It’s philosophical, at times pretentiously so but it mostly leans on to the story it’s telling.
It’s really important here to pay attention to everything that’s going on, not to “solve” what’s happening but because you’ll miss the thrust of the story. Fortunately, Iain Reid makes it easy to do. He’s a quality writer who produces this tale with prose that’s easy to digest. The whole time, I thought I had a sense of what he was doing but he manipulates the story well, in subtle ways that I didn’t appreciate at first until I got to the end.
And the end is what this will all hinge on. I wasn’t disappointed with the reveal, nor was I surprised. But your feeling about the book itself will depend on how you feel about its resolution, even more so than other books. If 20 pages in, you decide this isn’t for you, you should absolutely cast it aside. I think the payoff is worth it but given the varied reviews, not all agree.
I read this because I saw it’s going to be adopted into a movie. I’m interested to see what the director will focus on specifically. Hopefully, he’ll fine tune the psychological aspects for the big screen.