Page Count 304 / Publication date Aug 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press
Ellie Crane doesn’t believe in demons or vampires, but she still hates the idea of moving into a creepy old house. But when her husband’s aunt bequeaths them a sprawling forest estate, Ellie finds herself stuck in a setting straight out of a horror movie. Then the real horror begins…
…Her husband Chris undergoes a radical change–and not for the better. The darkness dissipates, however, when Ellie learns that after three years of trying, she and Chris have finally conceived. But Ellie and her unborn child are in terrible danger…
At the beginning of this book I started to wonder if I’d already read it! The similarities between The Darkest Lullaby and Janz earlier work House Of Skin (review here) are undeniable.
We’re presented with an unhappy couple, (one of whom is a writer of course) arriving at an old house inherited from a dead relative with a dark past, surrounded by woods in a small American town.
Adding to this the rumoured history of cult orgies, the evil ghostly entity of the afore mentioned dead relative and the town-wide superstitions- I struggled to find anything new in The Darkest Lullaby.
Despite the rehashed plot beginnings I was pleased to find the story took a different turn and actually of the two titles I did prefer this one.
There were a few random unexplained parts, that seemed a little pointless. For example- why was there a tiny hole in the wall filled with old razor blades? Why bother with the realtor sub plot?
I have to say I’ve grown tired of the shock-value debauchery, incest and animal cruelty Janz uses in his particular form of horror (so much so I’ve prepared a little separate rant post about such writing), so unfortunately The Darkest Lullaby didn’t really leave its mark.
I did enjoy the claustrophobic atmosphere of the creeping forest and quite liked Ellie’s character but I think this ends my foray into Janz’ work.
Despite the constant hype I see over this author I think he’s simply not for me. I’ve thrown myself into 5 of his novels hoping to discover that special something that’s hooked so many readers but I guess I’m just not one of them.
NB please follow the GoodReads link for a full synopsis. I have used extracts only.