“Night Strangers” began with a horrific airplane crash that claimed the lives of 39 passengers. Captain Chip is devastated he couldn’t land the plane safety, and in an attempt to escape public scrutiny, he moves his family to a small town. The family doesn’t realize they have moved into a house where insanity and suicide plagued the prior owners, and will reach them as well. Chip tries to recover from the crash and manage his survivor’s guilt, but quickly becomes obsessed with the steel door in the basement that is close by 39 large nails. The same number as the passengers killed in the crash. Coincidence? Hardly. What lies behind the door threatens the lives of the entire family, and kept me glued to the pages.
Chip’s wife and twin girls focus on making new friends, and are accepted into a social group of people who love herbs and gardening. The gardening focus takes on a poisonous aura that also poses grave danger to the twins. The evil lurking behind the door and the women obsessed with their gardens read like two totally different stories but coexist well. Each aspect of the book was eerie, but by the end of the book it was clear the two stories really didn’t have much do with each other. However, I didn’t mind because the writing was solid and the story was interesting. The story unfolded from the perspectives of several characters, even the cat, which provided a complete overview of the sinister events lurking around Chip’s family. Chip’s perspective was written as if the reader was Chip. The author would write those passages using the word “you.” For example, “you walk down into the basement with the knife in your hand…” This made the creepiness of Chip’s situation take on a uncharacteristically personal element for me, binding me to Chip’s story.
Overall I liked the book, and was captivated by the story, which unfolded perfectly. This would have been the perfect book to start of fall, and prepare for Halloween.