A too-good-to-be-true apartment turns out to be exactly that for a young Japanese family in this supernatural thriller.
Confronted with prohibitive housing prices, a young couple is thrilled to find a large, airy apartment for themselves, their small daughter, and the family dog that they can afford. Misao, the wife and mother of the pair, has her own misgivings. Why are there so few tenants in a building that offers such a bargain? And why would anyone choose to build a high-rise surrounded by a graveyard on three sides? Unfortunately, all of the portents in this thriller are that obvious. Pet bird found dead in its cage on the morning after the family moves in? Check. Basement with storage space that can only be reached by elevator since—cue shuddery music—there are no stairs? Yep. This is the kind of book in which, if the little girl didn't start announcing that the dead bird was talking to her, you'd think the author had forgotten to add it. It's also of that particularly unpleasant hue where basically decent characters exist to be punished. Ghost stories rarely end well. But the fates in this one are too grim to provide even spooky pleasure.
There's a vacancy in the Graveyard Apartment. Just not the one the author intended.