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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Review: Dark Across the Bay by Ania Ahlborn

Dark Across the Bay
by Ania Ahlborn

Thanks so much to Earthling Publications for this copy of one of my favorite author's new release!

Publisher: Earthling Publications
Publish Date: July 2021
248 Pages
Genre: Thriller

In the vein of John MacDonald’s Cape Fear, Ahlborn takes the classic stalker tale and updates it for the modern era.

The house sits stoic and slightly askew off the coast of Raven’s Head. Its off-kilter windows are both charming and disorienting, its walls of overstuffed bookshelves both comforting and claustrophobic. When Leo and Lark Parrish arrive at their vacation home with their parents, their mother’s idea of a quintessential Maine getaway seems like both a blessing and a curse. Lark—a novice novelist—can’t wait to find inspiration at the end of a fog-entombed pier. She’ll forgive her mother for forcing her into this non-negotiable holiday, but only if she can find her muse among a lapping, rocky shore. And while being trapped in a house with no means of escape is the last thing Leo would consider a good time—especially with parents on the precipice of divorce—he can’t help but wonder if maybe the change of scenery will help him shake off the chains of sadness brought on by the death of his closest friend.

But what starts off as a relatively benign family trip quickly turns menacing. Leo finds himself face-to-face with what feels like his best friend reaching out from beyond the grave, and only hours after they arrive, Lark begins to receive sinister texts. And then they both see it: someone lurking in the shadows of their rental home. Someone who has been expecting them despite the Parrishes being a thousand miles from home.

My Review:

Well hello there my dark thriller/horror loving friends - and to those who are curious. 😈  Come on in, the blood is still warm and gooey and the atmosphere thick with anticipation.  The Parrish family is waiting for you and they have quite the story to share.  Poppy and Ezra lead this family but are on the brink of divorce.  Their two teenage kids, Lark and Leo, are dealing with their own personal traumas so a getaway to a secluded house on a small island is an attempt at family unity.  Surely their time alone as a family will lead to bonding and gluing them back together.... right?

Soon an escalation of weird happenings gets them all on edge.  Oh how the secrets that they all hold start coming to light.  What is up with this weird licorice smell and ghostly figures?  While they all start to internally blame themselves, their tormentors silently continue their terror.  Getting the POVs of each characters helps keep the reader just as off balance as the characters.  What's fantastic is that we feel the slow build at the beginning and your heart starts racing faster as the suspense ramps up.  Just when I think I have a handle on it, Ahlborn slaps me in the face with one last tidbit and I ain't mad about it!

The introduction by Josh Malerman is fantastic and he is 100000% correct is saying "every family is a horror story".  If you don't agree, you will after reading this novel.  Also make sure to read Ahlbotn's acknowledgements where she mentions our very own bookstagrammers Ashley Sawyers, Johann Trotter, Sadie Hartmann and Kallie Weisgarber.

Ania Ahlborn is one of my all time favorite horror authors and continues to hold the top spot for female horror writers.  If you've read any of her works I'm sure you understand why.  Her ability to weave a story together, keep you invested from cover to cover and the always ominous and creepy atmosphere is quite impressive and I have read every single book she has put out.  DARK ACROSS THE BAY is a slow burn psychological dark horror thriller suspenseful family drama of a read and like with all her other books, I would highly recommend.


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