The Girl Next Door Author:Jack Ketchum SOMEBODY'S KNOCKIN'...Suburbia in the 1950s. A nice quiet simpler time to grow upunless you count the McCarthy trials and red-scares and the shadow of the Bomb and the Cold War, unless you could see the dark side emerging. And on a quiet tree-lined dead-end street, in the dark damp basement of the Chandler house, it's emerging big-time for... more » teenage Meg and her crippled sister Susanwhose parents are dead now, who are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant Aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sonsand finally an entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruet, tortuous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make. Between love and compassion, and lust and evil.« less
If you are a true horror junkie, you'll like it, though you might feel sickened; if you are not a horror fan, stay away from this book! I think in some books, if the idea that something could really happen, it just seems that much more revolting. Ketchum is a big name for horror fans these days. I've read some more by him and though some might not agree, this one was tame compared to some I've read. It's disgusting, true, but tamer than some of his others.
Read it in one day, very disturbing, I can't believe what they did to that poor girl, i was so angry at times, i wanted to just jump right in and grab those kids, the lady was really nuts, a must read.
I knew when I started reading this book that would not be easy. Not just because of the reviews I read or the description of the story. But because I knew that even though this story was fiction..it was based on a true story. That's what made it hard. But as hard as it was, it was still a book I could not put down. Truly terrifying at times, The Girl Next Door, reminds us that the real monsters are not the vampires and werewolves of movies and books, but the people in our own backyards. The real monsters look like you and me. That's what scares me most.
Oh my. I've read just about all of Jack Ketchum's books, including the cannibal series and loved them....disgusting and exciting in all their gruesome horror (they make Stephen King look like he's wearing diapers). But this book...this book is something else entirely. The Girl Next Door transports you back to a late 1950s middle-class neighborhood during the hot, lazy summer. The neighborhood kids become involved in the madness of one of the mothers. Telling you any more would give the story away. The children become victims, coconspirators, and perpetrators. One, through the madness, becomes a hero, even as tragedy strikes. The reader is left with some questions unanswered, huge moral ambiguity, and seriously, at times, even I had to put it down and walk away. I still don't know if it's based on a true story or not. I think, for me personally, the problem I had was that in Ketchum's cannibal books, you suppose, if you stretch it really, really far, that it's possible, but extremely unlikely to occur or be a reality. This book...it's entirely too likely to be a reality and, perhaps, that's where my squeamishness came from. Still, I recommend the book, but NOT to the faint of heart. Consider yourself warned.