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House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill – a book review

The main character, Catherine, has had a hard time of it. A traumatised outcast whose only friend was kidnapped as a child while Catherine watched helplessly, too frightened to intervene. She is unlucky in love, and there are hints that she may possess a violent streak which leads to what is referred to as the “incident” in London, after which Catherine runs away and finds work as a valuer with a small company far from the capital.

Her boss, Leonard, deals with eccentric clients, and warns her that Edith Mason may be strange, but that the prestige this win will bring Catherine and the company, is worth a little patience. And so, Catherine sets out for Red House where, in true Adam Nevill style, she encounters nightmarish tableaus and occurrences.

Whether Catherine is drugged, deluded, or caught in an insane cruelty play, the border between myth and reality becomes increasingly murky and fluid. Dead or alive, puppet or demon, torturer or victim – inside Red House such dichotomies seem obsolete.

Held there by her own sense of politeness and personal ambition, Catherine learns more than she wants to about the tortured genius M. H. Mason and his strange creations.

House of Small Shadows is another fine tale of horror from the creator of nightmares, Adam Nevill.

Other books by Adam Nevill:

I have previously reviewed The Reddening, Banquet for the Damned, Hasty for the Dark, and Apartment 16 on this blog.

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