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From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.
Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone . . . and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all -- it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears . . .
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more . . . horrid?
Praise for Horrid:
"The author crafts spooky set pieces and an intriguing cast of supporting characters [...] serving up an explosive finale [...]. A deliberately paced thriller with a frightful twist."
"Leno evokes a Stephen King-like creepiness that draws readers deeper into the story with each turn of the page. [...] [A] great choice for those interested in a gripping but speedy read. [...] Hand this to teens who binge-watched Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House."—School Library Journal
"Leno (You Must Not Miss
) permeates each scene with delicious frights [...] Poetic descriptions create an uncanny atmosphere, and nods to cozy bookstores and classic mysteries will charm bibliophiles as Leno effectively mixes terror with grief."—Publishers Weekly
"This is movie-ready Gothic horror, with a deliciously foreboding setting, an increasingly unreliable narrator, and a Mommie Dearest
plotline that carefully and effectively straddles the line between campy and disturbing...the pacing strikes just the right rhythm, moving erratically as Jane becomes more upset but pausing on the truly terrifying elements...Jane may be a fan of Agatha Christie, but this will more likely please readers of Shirley Jackson."—BCCB
"Leno (You Must Not Miss
, 2019) blends Agatha Christie and Shirley Jackson for a narrative that ranges from unsettling to genuinely terrifying. A sudden ending will leave readers gasping, and the deliberate descent through one girl's psyche is undeniably affecting."—Booklist