Thank you Netgalley and Orbit for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was good to kick off my October horror and mystery reads with this British supernatural story!
By Jason Arnopp
Published Date: October 22, 2019
Read Date: October 2019
Genre: horror, mystery
Rating: 3.5/5 Moose
Kate Collins is excited and ready to move in with her boyfriend Scott, even if means relocating 300 miles away from her friends and life.
That is, if he will answer his phone.
When Kate arrives at their apartment in Brighton, she finds it entirely empty. No Scott, and all of his stuff is gone. The power has even been cut off.
And then she finds that he’s left his cell phone.
Kate knows she shouldn’t look through his phone, but she has to know what is going on and where Scott went. But then she starts getting strange phone calls with weird static marks and deep scratch marks on the door frame. And she just cannot shake the feeling she’s being watched.
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
This is a weird book! I definitely couldn’t put it down, and at its base level I enjoyed it. It is a slow burn mystery — Scott has ghosted Kate, and as the reader we also want to know why. This book alternates back and forth between present day and the past, seeing how Kate and Scott’s relationship started. It is an interesting set up as the flashbacks are supposed to be Kate actually remembering the moments — her originally seeing Scott on Tinder, then at a technology detox retreat. They’re occasionally short and fractured, which makes it work better?
And yes, they meet at a technology detox. Kate has gone back to a Nokia pre-smart phone, phone after something horrible happens. She’s trying to fight her addiction to social media, to the point that she’s not checked her email even. In some ways, I understand Kate. I do sanity checks occasionally. I mute people on Facebook, unfollow people, even block if I need to, in order to keep from obsessively checking on something.
I think it’s something many readers can relate to.
That being said, I think the actual horrible accident is a bit down played? There’s a good bit of build up to it, and later you kind of get a better feel about how bad it is, but when Kate actually admits what she did, I think I actually said “that’s it?” out loud. I think it’s just not detailed enough, or something…. I’m not sure. But basically, I think the book suffers a bit from not showing enough of Kate’s actual addiction. Most of the flashbacks are post Scott. There’s not even a lot of discussion of Kate wanting to check Scott’s social media while they’re doing the long distance dating.
The actual mystery of where the heck is Scott is great though. Is he a terrible dude who played the long game con? Did he freak out and run at the last minute? Or has something happened to him? And as the book goes on, is he a killer?
Kate chooses to stay in Scott’s gorgeous apartment, despite the weird vibe and there not being any power. Honestly, the apartment creeped me out the most. WHO stays in an apartment that you can’t turn a light on in? No joke, there is always a light on in my apartment, whether it’s just the tv or the hallway light. Part of it is that I am too klutzy to wonder around in the dark. But if being honest, the dark is an oppressive force that I’m never not going to fear a little bit. I just kept wanting to yell at Kate to get out!
Overall I think anyone looking for a quick and an addictive read, they’ll enjoy this book. I think the topic of addiction to social media and phones is a bit overdone in this day and age, but this book takes a fresh look at it. It takes a moment to go from feeling like a book about a woman dating to a horror book, but give it some time!