In Taffs’ debut horror novel, an abusive past and a tragic present cause a man to have terrifying visions.
Guy is a complicated man, and not an entirely likable one. He suffered through a horrific childhood, and tragedy seems to shadow his every move in adulthood, despite his happy marriage to the lovely Mia, his joy in raising their little boy, Callum, and the couple’s happiness during a new pregnancy. When Mia awakes one night soaked in blood, the couple rushes to the hospital where Guy ultimately makes the decision to terminate the risky pregnancy. Dazed by the tragedy, the family relocates from Australia to New York in an effort to start anew. Guy’s new position at a public-relations firm and the family’s life in the city seem promising at first, but things quickly begin to disintegrate. Unable to shake the loss of their child, Mia and Guy drift further apart. Meanwhile, Guy starts to experience strange visions, and his formerly angelic son suddenly appears to be inhabited by an evil, otherworldly presence. Guy gradually starts to believe that Callum and the recently aborted baby, known as Bubby, are somehow connected; he also begins to see haunting images of the aborted fetus. Mysterious deaths start to stack up as Guy seeks to discover the source of Callum’s apparent possession and Bubby’s terrifying appearances. He confers with doctors and priests and consults expert literature, and as Guy’s mental state becomes more unstable, he’s drawn into the world of the occult. He also looks to conspiracy theories for answers, while using drugs and extramarital sex to soothe his fear and anxiety. Is Guy hallucinating—or is he the only one who is seeing things clearly? Taffs beautifully details Guy’s desperation and disintegrating mental status, showing readers the world through Guy’s questionable filters. And although Guy is clearly the star of the show, the author also clearly sketches out the supporting cast of characters, who provide plenty of additional intrigue as the story goes on.
A terrifying, engaging page-turner.