Captain Chip Linton has been a pilot for years, Hoping to soon fly the big planes with triple numbers he’s currently piloting a seventy seat regional plane when not long after take off it hits a flock of geese and the engines go out. Hoping for another “Miracle on the Hudson” the Captain carefully prepares his plane to land on Lake Champlain but the wake of a boat creates a wave just big enough to clip the wing and send it tumbling across the lake killing 39 of the 48 passengers on board.
Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicidal thoughts, Chip feels guilty because he didn’t go down with his ship. Though no one blames him for the tragedy he can no longer take the stares and the whispers of the people where they live so they decide to move and buy a run down Victorian in a small New England Town. It is Chip’s wife Emily’s desire that a little quiet time will help the Captain heal. Accompanying them on this move are their twin 10-year-old daughters Hallie and Garnet.
The townspeople are very welcoming, bringing casseroles and cookies almost every day. In fact, they are a little too welcoming, And what is with their weird nicknames and their desire to give Emily and the girls one? What is their obsessive fascination with the twins? What is with the door in the corner of the basement bolted tight with 39 bolts? And what really happened in this house all those years ago?
The prologue in this book made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. And while this is a thriller, it is more a psychological one and not what I would consider part of the horror genre. It did have some creepy elements in it and that’s one of the things that made this so different from the other Chris Bohjalian books I have read.
Mr. Bohjalian has a way of sweeping you in from the very first page. He is a masterful story-teller who loves to turn things around in your brain. He develops complex characters that you think you don’t think you like, and then weaves in different personality traits and emotions among them and soon you are feeling sorry for them before you start hating them all over again. I never know where his books are going (even delving into the paranormal a bit with this one) but I always know I will enjoy it where ever it ends up. 3.5/5 stars