cover image The Bones of You

The Bones of You

Gary McMahon. Earthling, $45 (200p) ISBN 978-0-9838071-5-5

This short novel by one of Britain’s most energetic horror writers centers on a father’s desperate love for his child. Adam Morris is thoroughly aware of his failings, especially his propensity for uncontrollable violence, but he believes he is turning his life around. He rents a house where his young daughter, Jess, can stay with him on the biweekly visits the courts permit. Then a friend informs him that a female serial killer once lived in the house next door and murdered children annually on Halloween. After his drug-addicted ex-wife falls into a coma, Jess comes to live with him full time—and Halloween night is approaching. McMahon (Pretty Little Dead Things) smoothly introduces glimpses of threatening apparitions that are almost submerged in Adam’s gradual, disturbing exploration of his own dark secrets. The climax is a bit rushed, with too many revelations crammed into too little space, but the story as a whole will keep the reader intrigued. (Oct.)