Palaces

Simon Jacobs. Two Dollar Radio (PGW, dist.), $15.99 trade paper (242p) ISBN 978-1-937512-67-5
Jacobs’s terrifying debut novel is a master class in anxiety and atmosphere. Unreliable narrator John has shed the majority of his physical and emotional baggage in his move from Indiana to an unnamed Northeastern city with his girlfriend, Joey. When the abandoned building they call home is overtaken by more ruthless squatters, they board a commuter train going north. It’s not until they’ve reached the final stop that they realize they’ve arrived somewhere even more dangerous than the city they’ve just left: a true ghost town, populated only by a series of mansions, empty but for the material goods of the people who used to occupy them. At first, John and Joey take full advantage of the bounty that lies before them: they have enthusiastic bathtub sex, and John swaps his dirty clothes out for a suit that wears as if it were made specifically for him. But soon, the horror of their new environment presents itself, and in the process questions John’s reliability. Jacobs creates a setting that fans of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy will enjoy while still offering up fresh frights, including a wolf in the foyer, a screaming child in the closet, and a knife that keeps showing up, no matter how many times John throws it away. Jacobs is a writer to watch; his talent for crafting an immersive, scary narrative is undeniable. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-937512-68-2
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