The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A young woman is making a living, faking it as a cut-price psychic working at Spiritual Palms (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage - mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor, built in 1893. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home, and taking possession of the stepson. She has even found trickles of blood on the wall. The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural, but she does see an opportunity to make a lot of money. However when she enters the house for the first time, and meets Miles, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time....
This is a short story by Gillian Flynn, as soon as I heard she was releasing this I knew I had to get a copy. I was surprised to discover it is a short story though at around 64 pages. This allowed me to read it in one sitting.
This story has left me thinking what the hell? It seemed to be all over so quickly and I needed time to digest what I had read. This story begins with a female narrator, we don't know who she is or what her name is, however after a few pages we discover who she is, a fake psychic by day and previous lady of the night. She is beginning to get to grips with her knew role when she meets Susan. Susan comes to her for help, she believes her Victorian house that she lives in is haunted and wants her to come and try to put it right. The woman agrees to help her even though she doesn't believe in all the strange things going on in the house. On entering she feels something is not right in the house and vows to Susan to help her.
The story although so short packs a lot in, I felt it was part horror part thriller and would have been perfect if I had read this in October. The lead character I didn't like that much and my feelings about Susan also changed throughout the story. My only negative is that I didn't feel like the characters were as developed as they could have been and at parts in the story it felt a little rushed. I think this would have been the good beginning of a full length novel.