One of my favorite books is the Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson’s book raises the question to the reader of reality versus perception. It’s considered a horror story but at the crux of it it’s a psychological thriller. A true terror story. What could possibly be scarier than one’s mind being the true monster. Kathleen Groger dangles the same unsettling conundrum before her main character, Sam. What is more lovely is that she then offers us the same threads to hang ourselves with because this is quite possibly one of the funnest psychological thrillers I’ve read in sometime.
Sixteen year old Sam is suffering through a school holiday with her wacky uncle Eric who is a ghost hunter. He and his team have the opportunity to explore creepy Defiance Castle on the ominous Shadow Island, a paranormal location that is reported to be one of the most darkly haunted spots in America. The terrible history of the castle is owed to it’s more terrifying creator, a serial killer and maniac who tortured his way into the hearts of eager paranormal investigators. Sam’s aghast at her uncle’s enthusiasm in a junk science that scams frightened masses into misguided believers. Worse yet, she doesn’t want the people from her school assuming she is part of the circus sideshow even if the rewards would be to her benefit. There are higher stakes at risk for her to entertain his ideas, and being popular isn’t really that important to her. Continue Reading