cover image The Handyman Method

The Handyman Method

Nick Cutter and Andrew F. Sullivan. Saga, $17.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-982196-71-4

Cutter (The Troop) and Sullivan (The Marigold) don’t do anything fresh with the haunted house trope in this bog-standard horror story. Attorneys Trent and Rita Saban move with their young son, Milo, into the brand new Dunsany Estates, a development in the middle of nowhere, billed as a future community full of greenery and like-minded families. For now, though, they’re the only ones. Despite the absence of any neighbors, and some physical problems with the house itself, the Sabans hope the move will provide a fresh start after a trauma: a coworker at Trent and Rita’s firm “went postal,” attacking the office with a hammer. Trent’s heroism stopped the attack but left him physically scarred and placed on indefinite leave, at a significantly reduced salary, due to concerns about PTSD. At loose ends, Trent focuses his energy into working on the house, aided by DIY YouTube channel The Handyman Method. That quotidian endeavor turns dark as the house slowly reveals its creepy secrets, which threaten the Sabans’ lives and sanity. Though a late plot twist livens things up a bit, there’s little else to distinguish this in a crowded market. It’s nothing special, but for readers looking for a ghost story, this will do in a pinch. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Aug.)