Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review: Gretchen by Shannon Kirk

Title: Gretchen
Author: Shannon Kirk
Published: July 2019, Thomas & Mercer
Format: Paperback, 364 pages
Source: Publisher

The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter…

Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on.

Finally, after thirteen years and eleven states, their next hideaway seems perfect. An isolated, fortresslike place in the New Hampshire woods is the new home they share with its owner, a gentlemanly pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. She’s Lucy’s age and soon becomes Lucy’s first real friend.

But Gretchen and her father have secrets of their own—and an obsession with puzzles that draws Lucy into a terrifying new game of hide-and-seek. Lucy’s dark past is about to come calling. And this time, for her and her mother in the house on the hill, it might be too late to run.

My thoughts: After discovering Shannon Kirk last year when being offered her novel IN THE VINES to read and review, I knew I had to read her latest book, GRETCHEN, and let me tell you...I love the way this woman writes! She can spin a gothic thriller like no other! OMG!!!

This book hooked me from the first page and never really let up. It was one crazy thrill ride that kept me guessing as to where it would ultimately end up, filled with bat-sh*t crazy characters that, while I didn't particularly like, I could not look away. I love when I have mixed feeling about characters - it just pulls me deeper into a book because I need to know what drives them and just what they are going to get up to and little did I know the things these characters would end up doing. I don't read a lot of pure horror books, but this one is definitely worth it, and filled with many shocking, twisting moments that will chill  you to the bone!

I loved the fact that there was a girl obsessed with puzzles to the point that it was creepy! I used to do jigsaw puzzles all the time, my whole family did them, but I can tell you right now, I will NEVER look at a puzzle again in the same way. Not without thinking of Gretchen and her crazy obsession. And the fact that the puzzles she does have a dark theme to them is just an indication of her character.

As much as I didn't love all the characters, I did love the character development that goes on in this book. Gretchen in particular is crafted in such a way that you won't be forgetting her anytime soon. I loved that she was such a strange child...and how she would creep around and just "appear" out of no where. 

This book was such a great gothic thriller and one that I definitely recommend. If you like suspense-filled, tense books, with a hefty dose of crazy, this one is for you. I loved it and cannot wait to see what comes next from Shannon Kirk!



  1. This sounds incredible! I've been in the mood for a gothic thriller lately, so I'll have to pick this one up. Great review!

  2. This author and book are completely new to me. Adding it to my wish list now!


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