Short Take: A brilliant homage to a well-known classic. With a twist.
(*Note: I received an advance copy of this book for review.*)
Y’all, my birthday is next week, and my family decided to celebrate this weekend, so I have had WAY too much food, booze, and sun to be anything approaching functional this afternoon. I regret nothing (yet).
But being a total overindulgent hedonist for a couple of days has reminded me of the necessity of the occasional rule or boundary. Moderation is your friend, and extremes are NEVER good – just ask Jules.
So, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Young, naive-ish girl (Jules) moves to the Big Apple to pursue her dreams, or maybe to escape a troubled past involving dead parents and a missing sister. She’s offered a job that seems too good to be true (apartment sitting in one of the most exclusive buildings in the city for a VERY generous salary), but something seems Not Quite Right.
Despite enough red flags to outfit a platoon of matadors, Jules takes the job. The rules are highly rigid – no visitors, no leaving overnight, and DO NOT bother the other residents. Of course Jules has a bit of trouble following that last one. She soon learns that some of the residents are quite friendly, others extremely antisocial, but all of them seem to have some secret that they aren’t willing to share.
As Jules tries to unravel both the building’s bloodsoaked history, and more recent disappearances, it soon becomes clear that Nobody Can Be Trusted, and that Jules herself may be the next victim.
Lock Every Door is a fantastic piece of mood and atmosphere building. The Bartholomew – small and narrow, adorned with capering gargoyles, vintage fixtures, and Rohrshach wallpaper that could resemble flowers or screaming faces – is both oppressive and alluring. The other residents are a fun mix of eccentricities, ages, and professional pedigrees.
However, there’s a major chunk of the story that seems to be a throwback to another horror classic, and it’s kind of distracting and at times, infuriating. I don’t want to spoil anything, but for a solid third of the book, my poor over-sugared brain was screaming DUDE STOP STEALING IDEAS YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS!! The only thing missing is a certain iconic haircut.
But just when I was getting ready to quit, the twist happened, and oh my nerdlings: It. Is. Delicious. So stick with it, even when you start getting mad, and it’ll all pay off in the end.
The Nerd’s Rating: FOUR HAPPY NEURONS (and probably some kind of cleanse or something, cause it’s been a seriously GREAT weekend.)