Thursday, October 05, 2017

31 Days of Halloween - Day 5

Rawblood by Catriona Ward

Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 2015.

Young Iris Vallarca, the last of her line, is kept isolated by her father at their ancestral mansion, Rawblood. The reason he keeps her there and away from other people is that the house seems to be the only place where their unique disease, Horror autotoxicus can be kept in check. This same disease, she is told, took her mother and has caused early deaths for every other member of their family. As Iris grows up, her suspicions that this unique disease might not even be real, seem to be confirmed, but the alternate explanation for what's causing the deaths at Rawblood is far more sinister.

This is at once a classic gothic tale rich with secrets and atmosphere and a compelling, dark character study. It pushes the characters and the reader towards more and more disturbing revelations until it's punch in the gut climax. This was really outstanding.

The book has been retitled as The Girl from Rawblood for American release.

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