A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain

Penguin. Feb. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780670786107. pap. $16. F
In British Columbia, there are still places so remote that the isolation can be suffocating, with few strangers to break the patterns of rural life. Poverty hangs on residents like a mantle, and personal relationships run deep and long. But one simple summer day, things begin to change in a remote logging town. Young women have been disappearing off the highway, and intriguing strangers have come to stay: a man with a magician's touch with cards and a mysterious young woman with pale alabaster skin. Leo Kreutzer and his friends, fresh from school and feeling the new weight of adulthood pressing down, don't quite know what to make of all this. But one thing is sure: by season's end, the small town's population will be even smaller, and those who remain will be forever changed.
VERDICT Harun's mastery clearly lies in establishing atmosphere and mood. Much as it does to the novel's characters, the gothic ambiance wraps around the reader and won't let go. Laced with local color, this debut will please fans of the macabre.
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