The house next door to Pat Robbins–eerily identical to the home Pat shares with her college-aged son, Mark–has been empty for years, the darkness within seeming to warn all to stay away. Now new tenants are moving in: affable Josef Friedrichs and his lovely daughter, Kathy, who has stolen Mark’s heart on first glance. But something is not right–something old and secret lurking in the shadows that fresh paint and new furnishings cannot mask or exorcise. There is evil alive in the heart of the house next door–and it means to feed on the fears of two families . . . and drag Kathy Friedrichs with it into peril.
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Release Date: 1979
Page Count: 352
Source: My copy.
I don’t really like ghost stories. But this was a book club read so… yeah. I read it. Thankfully it wasn’t scary, or I may have put it down. I don’t do scary things.
The rating system says a two star rating is for “it was okay”. And this book was okay, I guess, despite the general boringness and lack of development. I liked the writing style – it had that going for it.
I wasn’t impressed by the background or the supposed “twist” at the end. Which is strange because I generally enjoy historical fiction (not that that is what this was, but it had some elements). I loved Between Shades of Gray and The Russian Concubine series, and The Red Scarf is one of my all time favorite books. But this backstory failed to capture my attention. I found it all to be very uninteresting. The worst was the ghost. It only appeared at 1 AM? Was that ever explained? How unbelievable is that??
It’s obvious that the author really tried to focus on the romance of the story, but I just wasn’t buying it. Mark and Kathy’s (whose name definitely didn’t match her naïve, young girl personality – I could see Katherine or Katie or even Kath, as Mark sometimes referred to her as, but Kathy? It didn’t work for her) romance was practically nonexistent, if anything all appearances pointed to them being very good friends. And Josef and Pat’s romance? Where the hell did that come from? I sensed not one attraction even, through the entire course of the book, and all the sudden he’s jealous that some other man is touching her? And then they’re kissing? (removed for spoilers)
So that was annoying. But there were some elements I enjoyed. The writing was very refined – I found the whole thing very easy to read. And I liked Mark’s character – my reaction to him was almost automatic. He lived a very humorous, easygoing existence and I found myself smiling whenever he would speak.
Mostly though, the book bored me. The backstory was very meh, and I literally fell asleep reading the last twenty pages. The romance was completely botched. The book just really wasn’t for me.