Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little corner of the internet. You might want to read this post snuggled under a blanket, with the lights turned on, and with a cushion to hide behind because things are going to get CREEPY.
I was really lucky to be sent an advanced copy of It’s Behind You from publisher Scholastic UK, and had a wonderful time buddy reading with the lovely Amy, author of Mina and the Undead. We read in chunks and discussed the chapters as we went and it made it a) so much more fun and b) so much more creepy.
This is Kathryn Foxfield’s second novel, her first being Good Girls Die First, which was one of my favourite books last year, and I was so excited for this book, which absolutely did not disappoint.
Welcome to the reality game show that’ll scare you to death! Have you got what it takes to last the night?
Five contestants must sit tight through the night in dark and dangerous Umber Gorge caves, haunted by a ghost called the Puckered Maiden. But is it the malevolent spirit they should fear … or each other?
As the production crew ramps up the frights, secrets start to be revealed. These teenagers have hidden motives for taking part in It’s Behind You! and could some of them be … murder?
It’s Most Haunted meets I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen McManus.
As I said above, this book absolutely lived up to the author’s prior work. It was addictive, easy to get lost in, and utterly compelling to read, with a real need to unravel the mystery and work out the ultimate question: supernatural, or human? I won’t be telling you the answer to that one, you’ll have to read the book! But I will say, this thriller had my hairs standing on end!
The idea of the ghost that was supposed to be haunting the caves, The Puckered Maiden, was something that got more and more chilling, the longer that the contestants – and so, us, the reader – were stuck in the dark, knowing people had died there, especially with the spooky remains of an unopened theme park all around.
Author Kathryn Foxfield did a wonderful job of conjuring up a mixture of contestants to keep us both engaged and annoyed, from a want to be actress to a YouTube star, and of course, our protagonist, Lex. Lex is almost as much of a mystery as The Puckered Maiden, although we slowly get bits and pieces from her. She was such a brilliant lead characters for us to get behind and to root for, mainly because at times we didn’t essentially want to. She’s a bit love her or hate her, and that’s what makes her so compelling to read. She’s also written in such a witty way that it helps defuse some of the tension that is building up with everything that starts to go wrong in the caves.
The dynamics that develop between everyone who ends up stuck in the caves is absolutely amazing, and there were so many strands and twists to follow that I felt confused trying to unravel them and make sense of everything, which I absolutely loved. It was the kind of confusion reminiscent of trying to solve old Agatha Christie motives when I was younger and reading them for the first time, but with a fresh lick of modern paint, and it made for a brilliant combination.
Last year I spent the months after reading it recommending Good Girls Die First, and I know I’ll spend the rest of this year – and beyond – recommeding It’s Behind You!
My thanks again to Scholastic for my early copy; I’m so grateful to have had this as one of my June reads! It’s Behind You is out now, ready to spook you and make you laugh at the same time.
Thanks for stopping by, come back agains soon for daily posts!