The Drowning House

Poisoned Pen. Jul. 2024. 432p. ISBN 9781728292823. pap. $16.99. HORROR
During a stormy night on an island off the coast of Washington, an elderly woman sees that a house has washed up on the beach. She recognizes it from her nightmares, and seeing it scares her to death. When Melissa tries to return a late-night message from the woman’s grandson and caregiver Simon, a police officer answers his phone because Simon is nowhere to be found. This creepy open introduces an unforgettable place where Simon, Melissa, and Leo first met in 1985, spending their summers together. The narrative moves back and forth between those many summers and the present, building on the characters, their relationships, and the odd occurrences that happen around them. Back on the island, Melissa and Leo, mostly estranged now but desperate to find Simon, work together to decipher dangerous secrets. The stakes are high, and these two old friends might be the island’s only hope.
VERDICT Priest (Cinderwich) is popular with library audiences from teen to adult, and her latest will appeal to both. A great suspenseful and twisty story, reminiscent of Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, and The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon.
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