Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Bones of You by Gary McMahon

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to review Michael Marshall Smith's short story collection, Everything You Need. The book was released in September from Earthling Publications, a company known for their limited edition horror titles. As a huge horror fan I have to say I'm incredibly excited about everything Earthling does, especially their annual Halloween series. This year's addition is Gary McMahon's The Bones of You.

Adam Morris wants nothing more than to provide a good life for his daughter. After some scrapes with the law, he's been told to shape up in order to meet the custody requirements that allow him to see her every other weekend. To that end, Adam has found a new rental home that will be perfect for his daughter's visits. Little does Adam know, the neighborhood was once home to the infamous Miss Moffat, a woman who killed a dozen children and buried them in her cellar. Katherine Moffat has been dead for two years, but the abandoned house next door - the house where Miss Moffat lived - still bears the stain of her crimes. 

Adam Morris is a good dad and basically an ok guy who's in a crap position. His ex is a mess and yet it's his own mistakes that make him the lesser fit parent. Right away it's easy to side with him and see that he's doing everything he can for his daughter. But every step he takes towards progress begins to be undermined by the ominous presence of the house next door. It's an insidious undermining and one that I think McMahon builds really well with the atmosphere of the book.

Soooo this was a freaking creepy book. Really, given the right atmosphere it would probably have put me in a bit of a state (you know, if I'd been reading it in the house alone in the middle of the night!). And the pumpkin seeds! (Read it, you'll see.)

Amazingly this is my first official read by Gary McMahon. I bought his book The Concrete Grove a bit back there and it's been lingering on my TBR shelf, staring at me accusingly ever since. It's been bumped up now thanks to The Bones of You. This is a straight up genuine creepy read with a flawed hero to root for and a big bad that might scare the bejeezus out of you if you let it. It might also make you wonder next time you drive by a manky abandoned house (or move in next to one!).

The Bones of You is a short read and a perfect one for this Halloween season. Definitely recommended!

Rating: 5/5


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

So I should buy this one, huh? I'm on the hunt for an uber creepy read!

Carl V. Anderson said...

Scary books with kids always seem freakin' creepy to me. Sounds just like the right sort of scary.