House of Windows by John Langan
(A-) I love scary books. But I also enjoy subtle horror stories such as Turn of the Screw, The Haunting, Ghost Story, as well as some earlier Stephen King. The first time I started House of Windows a couple of years ago, I just couldn’t get into it, but I decided to give it another try. I am so glad I did. The story is being told by a woman to the author and is about her husband who had disappeared several years earlier and she tells the author what happened in the months and days leading up to his disappearance. The woman was nearly 40 years his junior. He was a college professor in his 60s and she was his student in her 20s. He left his wife of 30 years and moved into Belvedere House, an old mansion he had jointly owned with his first wife. His son, a young man in his twenties who was in the army in Afghanistan, confronts his father and the woman, whom he blames for the divorce. A verbal shouting match devolves into a fist fight, the police are called and both men end up in lockup. After they are released and in the parking lot, the father lays down the most horrible ghastly curse on his son. Later, the son is killed on a mission. This is where the story really grabbed on to me. The haunting begins, subtle at first, creeping up on the reader and then you are fully immersed in the horror and sense of dread. My only problem is that near the end of the book, it’s as if the writer wanted to cram all the horror tropes and gore into one chapter. It was very repetitive and I found myself skipping ahead in places. That was the only flaw I could find in this book which otherwise was so well written.