Looking Glass Sound

Tor Nightfire. Aug. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250860026. $27.99. HORROR
Rich characterizations abound in Ward’s newest (following Little Eve). It all starts in the summer of 1989, when Nat, Harper, and Wilder are teens visiting Whistler Bay, ME. They are the Three Musketeers: inseparable. Soon they find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation: the killer of the missing women is someone they know well. But is he the same person who’s been taking Polaroid pictures of sleeping children with a knife held to their necks? Wilder jots down everything in his journal, planning to write a novel about the tragedies. Years later, the book is published, keeping the souls of people alive within their prison on the pages. But who wrote it? And where does fiction intersect with truth? As is Ward’s style, the prose is lyrically metaphorical, taking readers into the story as if they’re shadows of the characters. This is a book about a book, inside a book—an intricate plot with changing perspectives. Reading it is like walking through a maze of wrong turns and misdirection.
VERDICT In this Rubik’s Cube of a novel, unreliable narrators compel readers to determine what is fact, what is fiction, and who wrote the book that rules their lives.
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