Burn the Negative

Putnam. Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593544662. $28. HORROR
Journalist Laura Warren has gone to great lengths to distance herself from The Guesthouse, a seemingly cursed horror film she starred in as a child. Being sent on assignment to write a story on the revived streaming version is the last thing she wants. Especially when Needle Man, The Guesthouse’s vile villain, starts making appearances, and the body count begins to rise. Mixing equal parts scares and gore and an enjoyable amount of humor, the novel manages to grab readers’ attention and hold it fast for the entire ride. The exploration of family bonds and expectations of child actors are moving and gripping. A strong female cast and lightning-quick plot twists are sure to keep readers wanting more. Vi-An Nguyen has designed an excellent, eye-catching cover that captures the spirit of the text perfectly.
VERDICT Winning’s latest, after The Shadow Glass, is a spine-tingling, rip-roaring yarn that hearkens back to the thrills and chills of the best ’80s slasher horror. Hand this to readers who liked The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, or My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
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