Children of Demeter

Raw Dog Screaming: Dog Star. Aug. 2021. 188p. ISBN 9781947879331. pap. $15.95. HORROR
Strong and intelligent woman protagonist: check. Isolated farmhouse on abandoned hippie commune: check. Creepy, meddlesome neighbor: check. Humanoid lake monster that sneaks into your kitchen and bedroom, eats your food, and tunnels out through your basement: checkmate! Knight’s sophomore novel (after The Fourth Whore) begins with a tour of a former hippie commune from the 1970s where every resident mysteriously disappeared. The property was once a thriving farm, producing fruit, honey, and mead, but now it lies barren, seemingly and inexplicably poisoned. Sara is a sociology professor whose husband recently died in a car crash while he was with his mistress. Embittered and desperate to escape, she decides to lose herself in researching the Children of Demeter cult. Buying the house and property, sight unseen, Sara is looking for a distraction and new beginning, but she can’t help but be haunted by her past or possessed by the property. When she arrives, the small-town charm takes on a sense of foreboding that can’t be shaken, and as Sara starts scraping layers of paint off a mural in her new home, she begins to scratch the surface of a town secret that might be closer to home than she imagined.
VERDICT A book that dares you to turn out the light or put it down, this psychedelic dive into cults, monsters, and rebirth will blow your mind.
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