In this superb, eerie tale, Hart draws on several conventions of the horror genre — a possibly haunted house, an unsolved kidnapping, a protagonist who’s fraying at the edges. But rather than soaking her story in dramatic displays of gore, Hart takes these elements and develops a restrained, quietly macabre atmosphere that is chilling and effective. Bringing her signature unflinching honesty about relationships to these time-worn tropes, she delves into the animus that can simmer under the surface, in the form of little secrets, between husbands and wives, parents and children.
Ginny and her husband, Sean, are looking forward to a fresh start; they’ve just moved into a new house and are expecting their first child. But Ginny can’t shake the specter of her previous miscarriage. As Ginny grapples with her reservations about the future and the underlying tension and resentments in her marriage, peculiar occurrences in the house begin to trouble her. Objects disappear and reappear seemingly at random, a persistent cold trails her throughout the house, and both her ailing grandmother and the neighbor kids swear they’ve seen a bedraggled young girl in her home. Could there be something more than just Ginny’s fear haunting her? (SAMHAINPUBLISHING.COM, dl $5.50)