Trepidatio. Oct. 2021. 108p. ISBN 9781685100032. pap. $12.95. HORROR
Cabot Howard’s got a problem. To evade the ravages of a global pandemic, his ex-wife, Leana has taken their son, Porter, from the city to Rookfield, a tiny town where she has family. Believing his son is in danger, Cabot follows them to confront Leana and bring Porter home. Nothing is right in Rookfield. The children there wear plague doctor masks. Leana’s family refuses to let him see Porter without supervision. He’s refused contact with Leana completely, and everyone wants him out of town yesterday. So what’s wrong in Rookfield? White’s answer is a deliriously dark, fast-paced horror mystery that starts quietly but ends with an audacious, nightmarish flourish. This is a taut, smart and unsettling novella that reckons with the exhausting toll the pandemic has taken on us over the last two years, while confirming White’s place in the horror genre.
VERDICT White takes our collective pandemic anxieties and weaves them into a wonderfully weird and unexpected horror tale. Don’t overlook this gem.
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