Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis is a gripping horror novel that is perfect for Halloween. While it is out of my comfort zone as a fan of contemporary, I enjoyed the suspenseful plot and unreliable narrator. The writing is also incredibly atmospheric, which made this a difficult book to put down. This is the perfect read for those looking for an immersive and memorable psychological thriller.

Review: Harrow Lake by Kat EllisTitle: Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis
Publisher: Dial Books
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Rating: four-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

The daughter of a horror film director is not afraid of anything--until she gets to Harrow Lake.

Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It's where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There's something not right about this town.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker--she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map--and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there's someone--or some thing--stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

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Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

When Lola’s dad, a renowned horror filmmaker, is stabbed in their apartment, Lola is sent to live with her grandmother in Harrow Lake, the location of her dad’s most successful movie. In Harrow Lake, however, everything feels off, and legend has it that a monster roams the town at night looking for its next victim. As Lola starts experiencing strange things and getting the feeling she’s being stalked, she begins to second guess whether or not Mister Jitters is really in her head. 

❀ Unreliable Narrator

Lola is an unreliable narrator, and I enjoyed the complexity of her character. She has a toxic relationship with her controlling father, and, as a result, has lost her sense of self. During her time in Harrow Lake, she starts to become her own person, and I enjoyed these moments of self-discovery alongside the more thrilling elements of the plot. 

❀ Atmospheric novel

As a horror novel, this is one of the most atmospheric that I have read. With its urban legends, creepy town rituals, and constant “tap-tap-tapping,” the story will suck any reader in. The legend of Mister Jitters is particularly chilling, and I enjoyed the experience of constantly questioning what is real. I always love a book with an immersive setting, so I was happy to see Harrow Lake so well-executed.

❀ Frighteningly Immersive

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis is an horror novel that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. I enjoyed the idea of the location of a horror movie, and the main character is complex. The horror elements are especially well written, making this one frighteningly immersive. Those looking for a suspenseful horror this fall will not want to miss this one. 

About Kat Ellis

Kat Ellis

Kat Ellis is the author of YA novels WICKED LITTLE DEEDS / BURDEN FALLS, HARROW LAKE, PURGE, BLACKFIN SKY, and BREAKER, and the novella THE TWINS OF BLACKFIN in the THREE STRIKES collection.

You'll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, trekking through ruins and cemeteries with her camera, or watching scary films with her husband.

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