Scout Press | 26 April 2022 | 352 pgs
Source: Library 

"Monsters are real. They're all around us, whether we can see them or not." ~ Pg 31

Jennifer McMahon is a master when it comes to creating atmospheric settings combining with a cast of intriguing characters. This book explores the complexity and perceptions of the human minds. It's also a book about monsters, fear and the darkness that lurks within us all.

In 1978, Dr. Helen Hildreth was the brilliant psychiatrist at her renowned treatment center in Vermont. Helen was devoted to her work and it is no wonder that many mentally challenged patients seemed to deem fit to perform their daily lives through her supervision and special care. For this, she was well-known in the community and many respected her for her works. But back at home, she was simply a grandmother who took care of her grandchildren, Violet and Eric, after the passing of their parents due to an accident. As much as Helen was kind and loving towards them, she'd her rules when it comes to discipline and behaviours. So while Vi and Eric were nice and obedient children, their lives were basically quite reserved and all the more they were homeschooled. Then, their once-mundane lives changed after Helen brought a girl into their home. Iris was quiet and was different from all the children they'd met. But Vi was excited to meet a new friend so in no time she and Iris formed a bond and the three of them would go explore for monsters and the likes (Vi and Eric formed their own club in which they'd go investigate all kinds of supernatural things and urban legends. More like to satisfy their curiosity and to justify their findings rather than hearsay.)

In another timeline in 2019, Lizzy Shelley is the host of the popular podcast, Monsters Among Us. When news of a young girl is abducted and a monster sighting have the neighbourhood worried and scared, Lizzy decided to visit her old hometown in Vermont, hoping to find some answers not only of the missing girl case and also what happened to the once renowned mental facility and the rumours surrounding it. 

I was glad to report that I've finally found a book that surpassed (or at least on par with) another McMahon book which remains my favourite - The Winter People. The author's writing is smooth and engaging and this is one reason why I enjoy reading her books so much, alongside with the atmospheric setting (which is her signature) and of course, the characters. What's haunting about this story is; perception can be a tricky thing and there's sometimes a fine line between good and evil, ethical and immorality. Without saying too much, all I could tell you is to read this book and enjoy McMahon's marvellous storytelling. It was an unforgettable journey to me and I hope you feel the same after reading it. 
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8 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I'm very much looking forward to reading this new book by Jennifer McMahon. I have enjoyed many of her tales, but I do say that The Winter People is one of my favorites. This author does a good spooky book, doesn't she?

  2. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'll be curious of your thoughts on this book, Kay. She's one of the best authors when spooky, atmospheric thrillers are concerned. :)

  3. Lark Says:

    Hi, Melody! If this one's better than The Winter People it must be good! :D And I'm looking forward to our next buddy read; I've got The Paris Apartment on hold at my library, waiting for me to pick it up.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - Hi, Lark! This book was great! It'd have made a good buddy read for us should we read this together. ;) And of course, I'm looking forward to reading The Paris Apartment with you! Just let me know if you've picked it up.

  5. I can't wait to read this! I love her books, and glad to hear this one even surpassed your favorite.

  6. Melody Says:

    Diana - I always get excited whenever I hear she has a new book out! Hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did.

  7. Reckless Girls was a bit slow moving as I recall but, entertaining too. I have the Jennifer McMahon book on my eshelves and hope to read it soon. Hope you have a good week Melody

  8. Melody Says:

    Diane - I'm glad to hear you've the McMahon book! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

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