The Night Guest

Tor Nightfire. Sept. 2024. 208p. ISBN 9781250322043. $19.99. HORROR
Iðunn, a young professional in Iceland, has no trouble falling asleep, but she keeps waking up exhausted. After accidentally leaving her smartwatch on all night, she wakes up and sees that she has walked thousands of steps overnight. Told solely from Iðunn’s perspective as she quickly spirals, this novel conveys her horror as she tries to stop herself from sleepwalking, figures out she is doing horrible things in her sleep, both to herself and others, and then starts to realize why and who is behind it all. The gripping tension of the plot is underscored by the physical layout of the book; multiple pages contain only one desperate line of text, followed by an extra blank page, allowing readers to physically feel the tension as they feverishly flip the pages. But readers beware, cats are harmed in this story.
VERDICT Knútsdóttir will hook readers with her first title to be translated into English. For fans of disorienting psychological horror marked by extreme tension and familial trauma, such as in The Grip of It by Jac Jemc, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and anything by Catriona Ward.
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