In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real--and she could prove it. That belief got Becca killed.
Psychological and disturbing, the story rips through sad reveals in its opening chapters, covering murder, abuse, and haunting memories ... There’s some melodrama and misdirection involved in the book’s progressions, though the dominant red herring leads to satisfying, scary scenes. Heather is a distressed but reliable narrator; her roiling emotions are palpable. Secondary characters are more subdued, in part because of the demons Heather’s wrestling during outwardly normal exchanges. Heartbreaking revelations jolt the book’s whispers of conjurings back to reality, and the ending is violent, cinematic, and just inconclusive enough to induce lasting chills.
Heather’s eventual descent into madness is difficult to watch as she tries to make sense of what’s happening to her. Especially appealing to readers who grew up with R. L. Stine’s Fear Street series, Walters’ first novel will find fans among a wide range of horror readers.
Horror short story author Walters offers up her first novel in the crowded psychological thriller field. The plot is suspenseful but the character development is weak. Overall, a moderately decent psychological thriller with a touch of the supernatural.