Thanks to NetGalley and Subterranean Press for providing a copy of In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant.
Click here for the Synopsis!
Nature abhors a straight line. The natural world is a place of curves and softened edges, of gentle mists and welcoming spirals. Nature remembers deviation; nature does not forgive. For Harlowe Upton-Jones, life has never been a straight line. Shipped off to live with her paternal grandparents after a mysterious cult killed her mother and father, she has grown up chasing the question behind the curve, becoming part of a tight-knit teen detective agency. But “teen” is a limited time offer, and when her friends start looking for adult professions, it’s up to Harlowe to find them one last case so that they can go out in a blaze of glory. Welcome to Spindrift House. The stories and legends surrounding the decrepit property are countless and contradictory, but one thing is clear: there are people willing to pay a great deal to determine the legal ownership of the house. When Harlowe and her friends agree to investigate the mystery behind the manor, they do so on the assumption that they’ll be going down in history as the ones who determined who built Spindrift House—and why. The house has secrets. They have the skills. They have a plan. They have everything they need to solve the mystery. Everything they need except for time. Because Spindrift House keeps its secrets for a reason, and it has no intention of letting them go. Nature abhors a straight line. Here’s where the story bends.
After reading Kingdom of Needle and Bone a few months ago, I was really excited to see Spindrift listed on the Subterranean Press site for preorders. I expect I will have difficulty resisting preordering Mira Grant books like these for years to come. When it came across my NetGalley dashboard, I had to request it. I saved it for a late night read, which I do not recommend but it did keep me up until 2 AM, so the creep factor was high!
Spindrift focuses on a group of mystery investigators, think Scooby Gang but with real world issues like health insurance. In a last ditch effort to make some money after high school graduation, they decide to take on one of the biggest mystery jobs on the east coast.
As you may be able to guess from the cover art, this book has some similarities to stories like HP Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth, or the 2017 film The Lodgers. Spindrift’s originality comes from the characters and the history of the house itself. The end is a bit surprising if you don’t read a lot of horror in this vein, but for me it was clear where things were going from the moment the characters arrived at the house.
Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) always works big themes into her writing, not matter what the page count is. In Spindrift those themes include the inability to escape ones past, abandonment, found family, and sibling loyalty. The way Grant explores these themes with the cast of 4 primary characters is really what drives the story. Even though the house is creepy, the choices these characters have to make to land them in the creepy house make the situation interesting.
If you have never picked up any Mira Grant books, give this one a try! I haven’t read enough of her work yet, but I definitely plan to keep reading as much as I can. Her ability to interweave human stories with horrific atmospheres definitely keeps me coming back for more!
Who are your favorite horror writers?