Mysterious letters torment the new inhabitants of a house.
The gorgeous, stately Langsom house is among the finest residences of Glennon Heights. After the Langsoms move out—mysteriously—the Donahues move in from out of state. Olivia Danvers becomes fast friends with the new family’s youngest daughter, Janie, and gets drawn into the Donahue family dramas. These dramas include something unspoken about Janie’s brother, Ben (whom Olivia rapidly develops a crush on), that prompted the move, and Mr. and Mrs. Donahue’s volatile relationship. By far, the most interesting oddity at the Donahue house are creepy letters from the self-proclaimed Sentry, warning the family of secrets inside the house and the gruesome fate that awaits them if they stay. While the teens investigate possible suspects and uncover the history of the house (including hidden passages and a secret room with peepholes), Mr. Donahue jumps on the knowledge that the Langsoms also received some letters as a nondisclosure that justifies a lawsuit against multiple parties, including the real estate agent and the Langsoms—a move that doesn’t make his new-to-town kids popular. After a very slow-burning plot, when the pieces come together they come hard and fast, overly explaining the mystery and leading to an abrupt climax. All characters seem to default to white.
Despite interpersonal storylines stuck in ruts and an underwhelming ending, the creepy house moments land well. (Horror/thriller. 12-adult)