A House at the Bottom of a Lake

Josh Malerman. Del Rey, $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-23777-9
Bird Box author Malerman leaves readers with more questions than answers with this eerie, atmospheric horror novel. Teenagers James and Amelia spend their first date getting acquainted while winding their way through two idyllic lakes in a canoe. They discover a secret passage through a rocky tunnel to an uncharted third lake that seems to be untouched by humanity—save for the fully intact house they spot at the bottom of its depths. Intrigued, they make plans to return with scuba gear to explore. Diving deep into the building’s depths, James and Amelia learn more about both the house and themselves while embarking on a whirlwind romance. Malerman masterfully builds tension, balancing the exuberance of first love with the foreboding mystery of the house. The uncanny elements and strange, evocative setting will keep readers flipping pages, but the atmosphere never gives way to more visceral scares and the underwhelming resolution leaves the mystery dangling. Readers shouldn’t expect any concrete thrills, but fans of Malerman’s precise prose will be pleased to explore this new and unsettling world. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2020
Release date: 01/19/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Paperback - 118 pages - 978-1-910471-01-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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