**Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader’s copy of Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this opportunity.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis is a stand-alone novel. It’s classified as a young adult horror novel and deals with some rather sensitive topics, so readers beware. It’s about a girl named Lola who is learning more about her family history in a rather spooky small town. Harrow Lake, according to NetGalley, is set to be published on August 25th, 2020. I gave it five stars on Goodreads.
Here’s the summary from NetGalley:
A can’t-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who’s not afraid of anything–until she gets to Harrow Lake.
Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1. It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2. There’s something not right about this town.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker–she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map–and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone–or something–stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
Harrow Lake was a book I hadn’t heard of, but the cover and then the synopsis drew me in. I don’t usually read horror novels but I was really curious and honestly I had a great time reading this book. I am going to keep my review somewhat vague because I don’t want to spoil any of the reveals, but I will mention that there is implied references to sexual abuse by a parent and some gore, so be careful if those things are triggering for you.
I absolutely loved this book. I’m not usually the type to get freaked out by a book and the contents of it, despite definitely getting freaked out by watching horror movies. However, this book was actually giving me the heebie jeebies, and one night I actually had to put the book down because I was getting freaked out and didn’t want to have nightmares. So that was something that definitely made this horror novel standout for me.
Kat Ellis did a really good job of building the suspense and making you wonder how much of this stuff is real versus how much of it is in Lola’s, the protagonist’s, head. There are a lot of eerie and vague details that are sprinkled through out that all build up to the culmination of the novel. You’re never really sure how reliable Lola is, and you’re definitely not sure how reliable the other characters in the book are.
The basic premise of this book was fantastic. I loved the set up of her father getting attacked and then her having to visit the town where everything in her life began. Small towns can be spooky at the best of times, but this one was definitely next level spooky. The entire town was on the verge of collapse, both literally and figuratively, and it was filled with locals who all knew more about Lola’s mom than she did. It was also filled with all kinds of small town superstitions that Lola found herself buying into, which really added to the is this real or is it in her head.
On the whole, I highly recommend this book and think that you should check it out if you’re at all interested.