Girl in the Walls – A.J Gnuse

Published by: 4th Estate
Pages: 368
Date released: 01/04/2021
Date read: 12/04/2021

Eventually, every hidden thing is found

Elise knew every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her, before they were taken from her in a car crash. And home is where you stay no matter what.

Eddie is a teenager trying to forget about the girl he sometimes sees out of the corner of his eye. But when his hot-headed older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And as they try to cast her out, they unwittingly bring an unexpected and far more real threat to their doorstep.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I saw it on a trip to Sainsburys. The beautiful cover, blurb and reviews on the cover drew me in and I thought it sounded like a very interesting, very gothic creepy thriller.

However, it wasn’t like this at all which was a bit disappointing. That’s not to say the book was bad. I actually found it enjoyable and a very pleasant read. But I was expecting ghosts and thrills and terror. But the girl in the wall is literally that. A girl who lives in the walls of her old house after her parents die.

It was a bit slow to start with and I found that overall, the narrative could have been more exciting. It seemed a little two-dimensional sometimes, but I was eager to read more about the family who now lived in her house, particularly the two sons, and external things that threaten her secret. I was a bit confused by the seemingly unrelated people who turned up in the story such as [SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT] Mr. Traust who keeps returning to the house trying to prove that Elsie wasn’t the imaginary friend he used to have (at least, that’s what I think his aim was), and Brodie, a strange boy who starts to visit Elsie before admitting he was stealing things from the house and then we don’t see him again. Personally, I’d like to have heard less about them, and more about Elsie and the threats he poses to the family, and the threat they posed to her.

So, to sum up, this was an enjoyable but genteel read. Don’t expect a chilling gothic thrilling ghost story, but this isn’t it.

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