Review: Shy Grove

Shy Grove: A Ghost Story
Categories: ,
Published: 03-08-18
When Gary’s crazy aunt dies, he inherits her house in the town of Shy Grove. Along with his wife and son, he moves into the house to catalogue her belongings, as well as try to work on their relationships. But from the first night, strange things happen in the house. Whispers in empty rooms, shadows in corridors, and changes in Gary’s personality hint that there is something wrong. And not just with the house… 

Typically I’m not a horror genre reader (despite being a horror movie fanatic), but I know a good ghost story when I read one. After working with Mr. Johnson in publishing classes in 2018, I knew he had an eye for the macabre, in the best of ways.

Shy Grove: A Ghost Story has an insidious sort of scariness, that creeps up slow but doesn’t stop form the first page. There may be the cliched “troubled family uses haunted old house to try to rebuild their lives” trope on the surface, but there is something unique to the terror built in this novel. The tension builds continually from the beginning and I was even taken by surprise by some of the twists toward the end. It’s a nice take on the haunted house trope, with buried secrets and truly disturbing examples of how depraved a person can become while under the guise of the greater good.