cover image Amity


Micol Ostow. Egmont USA, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-60684-156-3

Ostow evokes classic Stephen King with this disturbing story that sees two families terrorized by a malevolent house with a bloody history (loosely inspired by the Amityville Horror). Supernatural and psychological horrors intertwine as the stories unfold over the course of two separate months. Ten years in the past, Connor Webb is haunted by dark dreams of murder and mayhem, pushed to the breaking point by his abusive father and held back only by his twin sister, Jules. In the present, Gwen Hall fears for her brother Luke’s sanity, but her own psychological instability undermines her credibility and ability to cope. As the centuries-old house known as Amity calls to each in turn and manipulates them, their stories seem destined to end in bloodshed and tragedy. Ostow (family) skillfully builds tension and keeps readers guessing about how much is real and what’s simply in her characters’ minds. While the storytelling is steeped in atmosphere and punctuated by unsettling imagery, the voices of the dual narratives are too similar, and the abrupt ending a bit of a letdown. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Aug.)