Book Review - "The Girl Next Door," by Jack Ketchum

I will try to write this with a few spoilers as possibile.

I only have one regret, and that is not reading this sooner. This book is without a doubt one of the darkest and most emotional stories I've ever read. It's thought provoking, and the story has firmly wedged itself in my subconscious forever.

That being said it is not a story I would refer to everyone, because its subject matter is very much not for the faint of heart or weak willed. It’s not a gory book, per say. There is little blood until the ending and even then, not in any great abundance.

No, this book gets its teeth from the unrelenting dread that looms over you. That you want to scream at them, to get help, to tell their parents. But it’s not going to happen. It affirms that, it plays upon that fear all little kids have, that the world is so vast, and we are all helpless at the whim of mother nature.

That is what makes this book so terrifying. That even as adults, we feel so vastly helpless. That we live our sins vicariously, too afraid to speak up for what might befall ourselves. It’s a lesson I think that is more relevant now that ever.

This is a great book. The craftsmanship is the prose, not to fancy or lyrical, but brutally honest. The only words written are what needs to be. When people ask me, as a writer, how would I describe dread, I now have a new bench mark. And my only regret, is I didn’t find this story sooner