Review: The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, now I need like … a cup of Ovaltine and a mid-80s Tom Hanks film. I just feel like I watched a True Crime marathon and need to scrub the naked depravity from my brain.

Is there a sub-genre of children chained in the basement stories? Because this book is like that, if you crossed it with Lord of the Flies to make it even more unpleasant. I wanted to reach through the page and strangle everyone involved.

Unfortunately for me, when I get angry at a story, I can’t help but keep reading.

It’s also based pretty much on a true story, where two sisters were left with a horrible woman in Indiana and tortured by the woman, her sons, and some horrible neighborhood kids. It’s an incredibly powerful book, but the simple fact of it being so closely tied to a very real incident really fucks me up.

In the author’s note, Ketchum claims he toned some of the real-life details down.


And I had such faith in humanity to begin with!

This is why sometimes the horror genre needs to go supernatural. Supernatural abilities come in handy in stories like this. Just ask the “I like you” girl from V/H/S how she deals with bad situations …

I’m sorry. Bad joke. I’m in a dark place right now.

Actually, that’s true. There are no lights on and it’s 1:20am.

Someone want to try and sell me on the ol’ everything happens for a reason bit again?

Now … about that Ovaltine…

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