In 1953, Penny is just another washed-up, wannabe Hollywood actress who is past her prime. She has settled in to a quiet lifestyle, and when she finds a low-rent bungalow in Canyon Arms, it’s a dream come true; Penny takes to the place instantly. But the dream cottage with its French doors and tiled courtyard may not be as perfect as it seems. Penny’s new neighbors start filling her head with stories about past tenants, whispering voices, and a suicide that may not have been a suicide at all. Soon enough, Penny starts hearing strange noises and she can’t help but wonder about the true fate of the bookseller who died in her home a dozen years earlier. Her suspicions are only fueled by the ominous inscription that she discovers in a book that’s closely guarded by her landlord. . . .Writing
Megan Abbott is an automatic read for me and I was super excited to see this ebook short story released last fall. She's already great at psychological suspense in the contemporary thrillers I've read and I knew she had noir thrillers in her past, but hadn't read them. This book combines both genres into something really special. There's gas-lighting, there's 1950's Hollywood, it's dark and eerie, and I had no idea where she was headed. Excellent piece of short fiction and very well done.
See above, I guess? The writing is great and the story enthralls from the first page. The length is perfect for a half hour or so break in the workday, although it was hard to stop dwelling on it after I was finished. She does a lot of great genre nods, but it also is its own unique work. I'd take a million more like this any day.
Yes for fans of short stories, yes for fans of thrillers, yes for fans of noir, and yes for anyone looking for an excellent and fast story to completely suck them in for a short period of time.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.