By Author / Illustrator
Penguin Random House Children's UK
Paperback / softback
It's an old-fashioned puppet. The details are hard to make out in the dim light, but it looks like the puppet's neck is broken. It's a sad-looking thing, trapped there in its cage. Maybe I should let it out... 'A captivating and creeping mystery full of brilliantly twisting turns and dark secrets' - Holly Jackson, bestselling author of A Good Girls' Guide to Murder
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker - she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map - and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away. And there's someone - or something - stalking Lola's every move. The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her...
After a shocking incident involving her father, Lola is shipped off to a town made famous by his best horror movie. Staying with a grandmother that she's never met, strange events threaten Lola's sanity. Unexplained disappearances lead Lola to believe that a monster, Mr Skitters, lives in the town and she questions what really happened to her mother.
From the beginning, Harrow Lake is a spine chilling read, full of suspense, intrigue and horror. The characters and creepy town are all formed to play on the film's residue to dramatic effect. Lola arrives at the yearly festival to celebrate the film which adds to the weirdness of her visit.
Normally able to spot what's coming, I had no idea with this book and the surprises caught me off guard. The writing is engaging and makes this book a real page turner. This book is full of monsters, and not just the supernatural kind. Highly recommended. This will be devoured by students.
320 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+