Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Six top books with embedded narratives

Ana Reyes has an MFA from Louisiana State University and a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her work has appeared in Bodega, Pear Noir!, The New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teaches creative writing to older adults at Santa Monica College.

The House in the Pines in her first novel.

At CrimeReads Reyes tagged six top stories within stories, including:
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Because I’m a thriller writer, horror reader, lover of all things eerie, this list was destined to skew toward the scary. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is about a woman named Maggie who returns to the legendarily haunted Victorian mansion she called home for three weeks when she was a child. Her father wrote a hit book along the lines of The Amityville Horror, about the family’s terrifying ordeal there, but Maggie doesn’t believe a word of it. She was too young to remember much of what happened there and blames her father for the long shadow his sensationalized account and the book’s everlasting fame cast over her life. Sager’s novel alternates between her present-day experience in the house and her father’s book, which starts to seem scarily plausible as sinister events unfold. As a reader, I enjoyed searching for clues alongside Maggie as she tries to separate fact from fiction in her father’s pages.
Read about another entry on the list.

Home Before Dark is among James S. Murray's five top books about women fighting their way out and Karen Dionne's eight top thrillers that turn home into a place of mortal danger.

The Page 69 Test: Home Before Dark.

--Marshal Zeringue