From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a brand-new novel of terror that follows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.
Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.
But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…
A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Ania Ahlborn returns following, Within These Walls, with a dark, horror psychological suspense thriller— BROTHER, a haunting family in rural West Virginia--- deep in the heart of Appalachia-- psychotic gruesome murders.
Set in the 1980s in the back woods, away from everyone, Michael Morrow lives with his parents, Wade and Claudine and siblings, Reb and Misty Dawn. They are surrounded nightly by screams, blood, and torture. The perks of living out in the wilderness.
The Morrows kidnap kids and young girls, kill and dismember them, and at least once they "adopted". One son wants out; however, he's under the emotional, physical, and abusive control of the family. A spell. They make him feel as though he owes them, he needs to be loyal. They take troubled souls who will not be missed.
Michael does not want to be like his brother Reb, he wants to break free from the violence, the killing, and the murders. He is forced to commit horrific and gruesome acts. Ahlborn portrays in detailed vivid descriptions-so not for the weak, or faint of heart. His family preys on the weak; young women and murders them for fun. They are evil monsters. This was not supposed to be his life.
Fifteen years earlier they said Momma had shipped Lauralynn off to Grandma and Grandpa Westfall's place in NC. Here one day and gone the next. Michael suspected that Momma had learned how to be cruel from her own parents. Maybe their meanness had been so severe that it had rubbed off on Claudine, like a contagious disease.
When Michael meets Alice, a young innocent girl at the record store, in the nearby town of Dahlia, he is in love and wants to make sure he keeps her out of harm’s way and their crazy family. He does not want her to know the disgusting things he has done.
However, all the while Reb is evil, a devil—he has another plan. An evil twisted plan which will send shivers down your spine.
Ahlborn’s writing is intense, bold, suspenseful, and utterly shocking. She delves deep into the psychological effects of abuse, reminiscent of David Joy’sWhere All Light Tends to Go, (a different twist); however, a coming-of-age, of darkness, horror, abuse, and the emotional tugs of family, in the dark evil Appalachia area, and a glimpse of dreams and hopes of what could be with a normal life. A price to pay. They know they will never break free; however, an overwhelming strong need to end the violence.
If you enjoy horror, twisted, and evil, Southern Gothic, mixed with literary fiction—you will enjoy piecing together the mystery of BROTHER, and its true meaning. Terrifying!Warning: Do not read before bedtime.
A stunning front cover and a brilliant title – an author to follow! If you have not read Within These Walls – highly recommend.
DARE You to step inside!
"Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them. –Oscar Wilde
Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She'd spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.
Beyond writing, Ania enjoys baking, movies, weird documentaries, traveling, and (lots and lots of) coffee. She currently resides in the greater Portland, Oregon area with her husband, Will, and canine buddy, Sulley. WebsiteTwitter