TW: abuse, alcoholism, self-harm, suicide
BINGO: COLD [a portion of the story takes place in the frozen Idaho winter; also there are some cold-blooded murders]
Jade is obsessed with horror movies. Specifically she loves slashers. She knows everything there is to know about the movies, the plots, the directors, the film-making process, everything. It is her entire life and personality, to a fault. She doesn’t have much else to do in a small town in Proofrock, Idaho. She even weaves in her slasher obsession into her assignments for school which, frankly, have nothing to do with horror or slashers or movies. But Jade is going to be Jade.
And Jade is a troubled teen. Her dad is an abusive alcoholic with a terrible taste in friends. She doesn’t speak to her mom any more even though they both still live in the same small town. She’s an outsider due to her slasher obsession and Indigenous heritage. She has no friends and no real prospects for her future. She’s attempted suicide multiple times. But when grisly murders start occurring around town, Jade has a renewed sense of purpose to save everyone with her expansive knowledge of slashers and the slasher MO.
Just like in The Only Good Indians, the other book that I’ve read by the same author, Stephen Graham Jones has a way of sneaking the horror up on you. There is no indication that horror is coming until it’s too late, and you can’t stop reading. And just like The Only Good Indians, Jones does not hold back at all when the horror arrives. I can say without a doubt that this book is not for the queasy. What makes the horror that Jones writes so effective is how very plausible everything is. He doesn’t deal with ghosts or demons stretching the limitations of what’s possible. He deals with reality.
I listened to this book on audiobook which was narrated by Cara Gee, an Indigenous actress. She does a phenomenal job.