Clown in a Cornfield - Adam Cesare

Quinn moved into the small town of Kettle Springs with her dad who took up the position of the town doctor. All she wants is to make it to graduation and move on like all the other kids in the town, but most of them won't make it to morning.


Horror novels are either incredible or completely miss the mark for me. I love getting a proper spook from reading and once the narrative got going I was genuinely creeped out by the happenings of this novel. However, it was slow to begin with and I had to push myself through the first 30% before I found it actually got engaging. Initial introductions were slightly two-dimensional and the carelessness of the teenage characters infuriated me, whilst that became part of the point it just felt too excessive, all at once these seemingly normal teenagers were destroying property and risking lives and it felt unnatural.


When the murders started it mirrored the sudden decent into destruction by the teenagers, this prompted me to really consider the characters and what was going on. At the point of first murder I was instantly hooked, Cesare has an incredible skill at really setting the scene and creating tension. As soon as the danger became apparent to me I couldn't put this book down. One of my favourite phrases is "zero to one hundred real quick" and this book is the perfect example of that, there was barely any build-up to the complete chaos that ensued within Kettle Springs.


If your horror novel needs are protagonists experiencing complete carnage, then this is definitely the book for you. Tension and pace are kept high and fast through the final half and the conclusion makes for a satisfying result for the reader, it was worth the tension in my chest when every page threatened a new danger. I was satisfied with most novel, it was compelling and once the actual horror began it was unputdownable, but, my reservations lie within the first half, if I hadn't read such strong reviews beforehand I might not have stuck it out.


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