The book itself is a fast-moving, engrossing horror novel with engaging characters, compelling motivations, an interesting premise, and a well-planned and executed plot. It succeeds in being truly scary in many places and is fairly creepy throughout. Enough emotional connection is established among the characters to make their fates important.
If there is a weakness in the book, it is the language. Though generally effective, many of the metaphors and dialogue elements tend towards cliché, and word choices and phrase structures are rarely original. This does not interfere directly with enjoyment of the story, but it does keep it from rising to the top tier of horror literature.
The narration of the audiobook, however, is truly brilliant, and ultimately what got me into the book in the first place and kept me engaged throughout. Folly Blaine's calm, collected voice is appropriately chilling when applied to the books gruesome content, and her use of varied inflections and intonations imbues the characters with richer identities than offered by the raw source material. She has an ideal register for narration and I look forward to listening to other books read by her in the future.
Overall, I recommend this audiobook highly to anyone looking for a creepy small-town mystery wrapped in the trappings of a grisly horror tale.
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