I have read one other book by this author and reviewed it: here
Psychological/horror drama is not that high on my to-read list, but this author’s previous work (that I read) was quite satisfying. This is what had me interested in picking this up in the first place.
It is hard not to compare, and I must admit I preferred the previous book to this, although this was quite unexpected and fascinating in its own way. This is a dual(not taking into account the present day) time story with a few quirks, something that, if discussed in detail, would count as a spoiler.
Our central narrator, an unassuming man with a normal family life (now), has to visit the site of his old boarding school. A school that functioned more as a punishment than anything else. Only when he gets to the abandoned site, do we know how toxic the environment was. Parallelly, we hear about the events that occurred ninety years previously when the location was an insane asylum/institution. The mystery of the past is what determines the tone and the passage of the narration in both 1903 and 1993. The actual time of the events in 1903 is not spread over a long period. It just feels that way because we are brought out to watch how two boys in 1993 trying to figure things out. If for no other reason, these efforts are a way for them to confirm that they were not going insane themselves.
The narration is tight, although a healthy acceptance of the concept of ghosts would definitely make it easier to go along with the plotline. The atmosphere is well set, and especially as an infrequent and frankly choosy reader of this genre, I really enjoyed it. After everything that we encountered, I kind of expected that final twist in the present day, despite which I found myself excited.
Books like this work better and more potently with a lot less information than I have already provided. I highly recommend this book for someone looking for a book with a menacing aura. I will definitely read more books by the author if I get the chance.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.