Harrow Lake - Kat Ellis
As part of my my summer challenge, this was a step away from my normal fodder of children's books and spy thrillers, to the genre of HORROR!
And I survived! The creepy doll ('Mr Jitters') was nearly enough to stop me opening the front cover, but I was a big brave boy, and was thoroughly rewarded for my courage with a thrilling, exciting, just scary enough read that I raced through in the course of a day and night!
With more than a nod to classic horror movies (the whole premise of the book is the legacy of a classic horror movie and its effect on the town it was filmed in...) this book has everything your worst dreams could wish for. Creepy puppets, abandoned funfairs and ghost-trains, underground tunnels with a mythical monster living in them, bitchy teenagers, incompetent Park Rangers, scratching sounds...you name the horror stereotype and there's a reference within - and I loved it! Think Stephen King, Stranger Things, Scream, It....
I don't want to give too much away (spoiler alert) but the clever twist and denouement at the end was really well-thought through...it completed the novel in a far better way for me than the defeat of an imaginary creature would have(it turned the book into more of a thriller rather than outright horror, for me, but not at any detriment to my enjoyment).
I loved the book so much that I saw the special edition advance copy and won a ferocious Ebay bidding war to grab a copy - it's the very cool VHS-alike book in the pictures above. Great idea and job doing this, Penguin - one of the coolest books in my collection! Thanks also to Kat Ellis herself for the very kind signed book plate and creepy postcard! Follow Kat at @el_kat on Twitter.