You ever have a moment where something was SO CREEPY that you threw up, or almost threw up?
About a year ago… I was checking out a series of pictures posted online, and when I found out where the pictures were taken, every hair on my body stood up, I got so weirded out! I never verified if it was true – don’t really care, either. It freaked me out, I moved on.
Then, I read this book.
That moment came flooding back – with a vengeance.
When will people learn?
A dream home in a perfect location, with a price tag that you can actually afford… Too good to be true! Turn around, you’re not welcome. Doesn’t anyone watch movies? Do the walls have to literally drip blood before people take a hint?
Not me, fuck that noise! I’m outta that bitch like it’s on fire. Meet ya at the county line!
Dean and Jess apparently don’t watch movies, either.
Not only is it a dream house, in a perfect location, with an affordable price tag – (that’s already three strikes!) – it also has a tragic history. ♪ ♫ ♩ Dun dun duuuuuun… ♪ ♫ ♩
This novella details the events of the seven days spent in this house in the country.
::whispers:: sssseven daysssss….
This book felt very similar to THE LOST SON.
Almost the same blueprint, just decorated differently. I’m not pointing out the specifics, and I’m really not saying anything bad, merely stating an observation.
I’m also not pointing out the specific moments that freaked me out. Except for one… omg – the twist in this story is messed up!! ::shudders:: The discovery made by Jess – I swear, I almost threw up!! Not because of gore or anything like that, just because of that ‘Aw, HELL no!’ moment of fright. (Refer back to my opening statement).
I think I regret filling out the LITERATURE-LY YOU questionnaire, because Matt has a direct link to the freak-out sensor in my brain. 😉
After you’ve read this, if you know what story I’m talking about with the pictures – I would love to hear your opinion!!
When newly weds Jason and Emily moved into their first home together they thought they had the perfect start to their new life together; a quiet house in the middle of the country away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.
Unfortunately for them, things take a supernatural turn when they realise the house isn’t quite as empty as they first believed it to be.
The book starts with an idealistic summer backdrop; idealistic if you don’t pay attention to the food burning on the grill, or the huge puddle of blood drying on the pavement. I knew I was in for a ride when I had tears in my eyes at the end of the first chapter.
Fast forward in time a bit to meet Jason & Emily. Newlyweds who put off their honeymoon to purchase their dream home. They arrive, with their dog Roald, just before the moving truck. (Fun Fact: Notice the dogs name? – Leave me a comment if you get it.) We notice strange happenings before they’re even moved in. Once they are, Roald picks up on something – like all pets are known to do.
Jason begins to take notice when doors in the house start slamming closed, but he can’t find the source of a draft no matter how hard he looks.
To weird him out a little more, he gets a surprise visit from Aimee, a strange woman who claims to have once lived in his house. He thinks she looks looney, but, her husband, Ian, comes to collect her – promising it will never happen again. He tells Emily about it, and gets her properly bugged, too. (This bit plants a seed for our minds to silently cultivate while we continue reading.)
While laying in bed with Em that night, having a tiff about how unproductive his days are while she’s off at work, they hear a commotion coming from downstairs. He goes to investigate & finds one of the boxes he neglected to unpack had fallen over, spilling it’s contents onto the floor. He returns to bed, leaving the mess until morning, (and further irritating his wife). The next morning, when Em thanks him for picking up, and knowing he did no such thing, Jason starts to freak out. Could that woman have returned in the night? Is she here now? Roald, you didn’t do this, did ya? (To which he replies O.o – then licks his butt).
By the time Emily gets home from work, Jason has it all figured out. They are sharing their home with the ghost of an eight year old boy, Josh Tomsett, the son of the houses previous owners.
In my best Steffon character voice…
“This book has everything! Ouija boards, surprises, heartbreak, and twists… That thing from the movie Poltergiest where the living play games with the ghost in the kitchen!”
This is another of those stories that dragged my emotions through the ringer. I laughed out loud, cried, got angry, got scared… And, as it always happens to me, during one key moment towards the end… great big huge scary noise from the other room! (Upon investigation, it was the ‘shower caddy’, the thing holding all the shampoos and soaps, it fell right off the side of the shower at a perfect moment. It’s strange how things like that happen!
The only other thing I’ll say is this – we’re in Matt’s world, there are no happy endings.
* The Lost Son also includes a bonus story from the recently published collection SHORTS, titled AS I LAY STILL
I’m a closet geek. Well, as I like to say… geek by day, nerd by night!
In geek speak, an easter egg is a secret message, credit or screen hidden in an application, game, or DVD. Easter eggs typically include a bonus feature or item but can include the names of the developers responsible for the application, extra levels, or bonus content.
Even though the term brings to mind electronic bonus material, I use it for literary bonus material. Those hidden gems authors slip in once in awhile. Matt is famous for them. I try to point out a couple of my favourites from every story, without spoiling things. A couple Easter Eggs in THE LOST SON…
Remember me pointing out the name of the dog?
Roald. I won’t ruin what I said earlier, if you ‘get it’, leave a note in the comments. Need a hint? Read my interview LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW.
JOSH TOMSETT, our lead ghost in this story, borrows his name from our friend Kim Tomsett, (aka wistfulskimmie)! I’m sure you’ve seen her reviews on Amazon, or chatted with her on Matt’s Facebook wall.
I think it is really cool that Matt interacts and includes his fans throughout his writing process.
At one point, Emily, (while trying to get in touch with Ian Tomsett), was put on the spot when asked for her name. In a pinch, she uses the name Nurse Ratched, (made me laff!!). In case you can’t place the name, Nurse Ratched is the antagonist in the 1962 Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in the 1975 movie of the same title. The overbearing, cruel, perfectionist nurse rules the asylum in the story with an iron fist.
Any book nerd like me has called at least one nurse by this name in their lifetime!! Used creatively, you can turn it into an insult on almost anyone!