Crime scene clues point to a larger force at play—a folktale come to life in the most vicious and cruel ways—and Lauren must delve into her past in order to stop the killings. Though this is definitely a horror novel, Pelayo has also crafted a love story to Chicago, particularly the Latinx community, weaving history, culture, and landmarks into the fabric of the story until the city practically breathes. It is also a love story to fairy tales, and Pelayo intersperses retellings throughout the book, examining the structure, meaning, and value of the original tales.
A lifelong Chicagoan, presents a well-researched modern fairy tale, peppered with nuggets of fascinating information that inform the story without sacrificing the pace or atmosphere. Even more remarkable is how expertly she works the unreliable narrator trope, from the first page to the final, shocking twist ... With superior worldbuilding, a relentless pace, a complex heroine, and a harrowing story that preys off of current events as much as its well-developed monster, this is a stellar horror novel that fires on all cylinders, from the first page through to its horrible conclusion.
Medina was mesmerized by the fairy tale when she was younger, and is horrified to learn that some who knew Hadiya believe that she was killed by the Pied Piper after his murderous spirit was summoned to claim her life. More people die before the dark truth about Marie’s death emerges. Pelayo masterfully ratchets up the tension and the scares. Robert McCammon fans will be pleased.