By Jennifer McMahon
4 out of 5 stars
Piper comes back to be with her sister Margot after hearing the news that their old friend Amy has killed her family and herself in quite a bloody rampage. The sole survivor, her daughter Lou, was found on the roof. Margot is bedridden and close to the end of her pregnancy, something she’s wanted for a long time. Her husband Jason is a policeman and part of the investigation into the murder/suicide. But that’s not the gist of the story. The three women grew up together. Amy was raised by her grandmother. Her mother seems to pop in and out of her life. Amy’s family owns the Tower Motel. In it’s heyday, it was a popular place to stop and stay. The story goes in between the days of Amy’s mother Rose and her sister Sylvie growing up there, to when the three women were girls, to the present day. And it all revolves around the creepy things going on at the motel. Sylvie and Rose’s grandmother tells them about the “mares”, people who shapeshift into animals. Rose becomes entranced in the stories, believing Sylvie is one. Sylvie leaves home and doesn’t come back. Years later, the girls search for clues and find more than they can ever imagine.
Jennifer McMahon’s books always have a delicious creepiness factor. I never miss one when they come out. I know a lot of people characterize this story as horror but I don’t think so. There is a spooky factor (though I had things figured out very quickly), but it’s also about the bonds of friendship and sisterhood and family. I loved the inclusion of Alfred Hitchcock interspersed throughout the story. It had almost a Hitchcockian feel. I will say this isn’t my favorite of her books but it was one I did stay up late finishing up. I was surprised I had no dreams of shifting animals!
I happily received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.