Here, Rauch (The Landlady, 1975) has young Madeleine "Maddie" Rafferty and her two small daughters fleeing Manhattan for Indian Meadow in the Adirondacks to escape from their sicko husband/father, who has been using the girls in pornographic photography. The house they've rented, a former stop on the Underground Railroad, also comes with a barn, crammed to the rafters with antique toys—and a door leading down! Their idyll is soon threatened when the drowned body of Hillary Littlefield is found in Little Quaker Pond. Then the house's owner turns up and wants to stay; and Daddy has tracked them down and is on his way. The girls are enticed through that door, nearly drowned by Hillary's murderer, and in an offbeat, horrific twist, Daddy, too, takes refuge there. . . A so-so, middle-class domestic horror story, with much menace lurking about, oddball country characters, and a spunky heroine. Readable but lacks the tension to be properly memorable.
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