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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Book of Knives

Narrator: Eve Passeltiner

ISBN:9 781666614183

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

9 Hours, 20 Minutes

Publication Date: 10/04/2022

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC)

There are thirteen knives.

One by one they begin to disappear.

Nora didn't expect Hidden Lake Camp to be in a state of ruin―dock full of rotten boards, smashed windows, cabins falling apart. To her new husband, Paul, the camp is the past he'd just as soon bury.

Nora agreed to drive north with him to get his elderly parents settled while he makes enough repairs to sell the property, which will only take a few months. The summer camp, however, and its deep lake have other plans. After Nora's first meal with Paul's difficult family, one knife―part of a prized collection―goes missing. By the time the fourth and fifth vanish from behind locked doors and out from under watchful eyes, Nora can barely sleep. There's talk of ghosts, secret rooms, and someone at the summer camp found dead in the tall grass.

Unsettling, gripping, and totally original, Book of Knives is a literary thriller that shows how one person's unraveling can bring the whole house down.

My Review

BOOK OF KNIVES is a creepy and strange slow-burn mystery and a ghost story with some supernatural elements by Lise Haines.

Nora is a documentary filmmaker and comes with her new husband to The Hidden Lake Camp —which needs work. She lost her husband and is still grieving when she falls for her late hubby’s best friend and marries him.

Hidden Lake is Paul's family resort, which has been closed for many years. Paul promised it would just be a few months to repair the camp, ready it for sale, and get it on the market. However, when they arrive, it is worst than expected.

Nora inherits a family. Her sister-in-law, but weird and unlikable. All she seems to care about is her collections of knives, and, when they go missing, everting starts unraveling.

There is a murder, in the past, and possible ghosts lingering.

As a collection of knives disappear from the camp one by one, other unsettling things start to happen, and Nora begins to suspect a ghostly presence is haunting the lake and cabins.

A lot is going on with a mix of blended families with different personalities, a need for a child, a partner's loss, letting go of a parent, and a few ghosts and spirits.

The audiobook narration by Eve Passeltiner was pleasant and enjoyed her range of voices as why the 3-star rating. Otherwise, it would be less. I found myself fast-forwarding to get to the end.

This story moved slowly as Nora tries to put together the pieces of what happened in the past in hopes of finding answers in the present.

This book is not what I expected at all. If so, would not have requested it. I am not into the paranormal, ghosts, or supernatural, so I did not enjoy this one. I thought it was weird and quite bizarre. A lot of dysfunctional characters, and I was not invested in any of them. I am sure other readers out there may enjoy it. Unfortunately, this one does not live up to the description or my expectations.

Thank you to #DreamscapeMedia for ALC and #NetGalley and #PoisonedPenPress for an e-ARC for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 3 Stars

Pub Date: Oct 4, 2022


"Lise Haines, in Book of Knives, as in all her work, is an astute psychologist, a cool, unsentimental investigator of humans, who often locates the hard truths. In a time of circumspection, her bracing recognition of a more complex human consciousness hits the spot. I admire her work and her sensibility."

― Rick Moody, author of Ice Storm and Hotels of North America

"Book of Knives is a beautifully written, richly compelling, Jamesian novel of creeping claustrophobia and menace. Haines spins a web so intricate, and so well constructed, that you're unaware of its strands until you are completely enmeshed in it."

― Craig Russell, author of Hyde and The Devil Aspect

"In Lise Haines's subtly menacing and spooky mystery, Nora, a young widow, and her new husband, Paul, join his family at their decaying lakeside summer camp. As a collection of knives disappear from the camp one by one, other unsettling things start to happen and Nora begins to suspect a ghostly presence is haunting the lake and cabins. Beautifully written and endlessly absorbing, this is a novel to read with the covers up around your chin and a candle burning."

― Sarah Taylor Stewart, author of the Maggie D'arcy mysteries

"In Book of Knives, Lise Haines has created a believable world of terror where nothing is what it seems. Seen through the perceptive eyes of complex characters, a series of vivid scenes unfolds. One finds all one's worst fears echoed here in an increasingly suspenseful and surprising crescendo of events. Wonderfully done."

― Sheila Kohler, author of the literary thriller Open Secrets, one of Vogue's best books of 2020

"Book of Knives is an utterly absorbing, extremely suspenseful, and elegantly written literary ghost story. I was intrigued, and scared, and ultimately deeply moved by this compelling novel about family and the love that transcends death."

― Jessica Treadway, author of Infinite Dimensions

About the Author

Lise Haines' fifth novel, Book of Knives, will be out by Sourcebooks in 2022. Her four earlier books are When We Disappear (Unbridled Books); Girl in the Arena (Bloomsbury USA), a 2011 South Carolina Book Award Nominee, optioned by HBO; Small Acts of Sex and Electricity (Unbridled Books), named a Book Sense Pick in 2006 and one of ten “Best Book Picks for 2006” by San Diego’s NPR station; and In My Sister’s Country (Penguin/Putnam), which The Rocky Mountain News selected as one of twelve “Stellar Debuts” for 2002.

A past finalist for the PEN Nelson Algren Fiction Award, she is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College and a former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University. Her stories and essays have appeared in AGNI, Ploughshares, Post Road, Crosscurrents, The Barcelona Review, and elsewhere. Haines received her undergraduate degree from the Creative Writing program at Syracuse University and her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Santa Barbara, California was her home for many years and she currently lives in Boston near her daughter, a video game producer. Lise Haines’ parents were journalists in Chicago where she grew up. She recalls writing her first novel about a cat when she was nine, on her mother’s Olivetti typewriter on green newsroom paper. Today, on a free afternoon, you will find her writing, curled up with a novel, lost in a museum, at the movies, out in nature or exploring the city. Her favorite travels have taken her to Kyoto, Paris and Venice. WEBSITE



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