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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

When wealthy romance author Cassandra Tipp vanishes, she leaves a considerable fortune for her niece and nephew to claim… provided they meet just one condition. They must read a manuscript she has left, to find a codeword to present to claim that inheritance. Knowing there are horrors in the family history, knowing their aunt was at the heart of them, Janus and Penelope make their way to her house and settle down to read. And what they find is a tale more fanciful than anything their aunt ever penned for publication, a tale of faeries and blood, or mental illness and familial abuse. Reality and fantasy are irrevocably blurred.

The writing is beautiful, the subject matter horrifying any way you look at it. The book needs a stack of trigger warnings, from CSA to mental illness, familial abuse, abortion, bad practice by a mental health practitioner and more. It’s meant to be challenging and uncomfortable, to make you wonder if the tales some children tell of faeries in the woods or strange creatures under the bed might have some grain of twisted truth to them after all. Cassandra is a convincing narrator with an explanation for everything, but the more prosaic truths are there, hovering around the edges, obvious questions to ask for those of a practical disposition. And then at the end there’s just the slightest twist… enough to make anyone pause and wonder, what if? What if it’s real? Is it really worth taking the risk?

This is a gorgeously written debut novel, dark and disturbing, sinister and otherworldly. It’ll leave you with chills and very possibly a wariness of walking in the woods for a while. Five stars for a read which will stick with me for a long time.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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