Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis is a horror/thriller that follows the story of Lola Nox, the missing daughter of legendary horror movie director, Nolan Nox. Following an attack on her father, Lola is sent to the strange town of Harrow Lake, an economically depressed town seemingly stuck in the 1920s and the location of her father’s biggest hit, Nightjar, to live with her estranged grandmother. It is during the filming of Nightjar that Lola’s mother met her father and became a famous actress. For most of her life, Lola has been isolated by her father and told that her mother left her. The more she finds out, the more she realizes her mother may not have left her by her own accord. Did Mr. Jitters, the terrifying local legend, take her or was it something more sinister? Is Lola hallucinating or dreaming, or are her horrific visions real? Will her obsession with what happened to her mother bring Lola to an untimely fate?
The author does a good job pacing the novel. It moves quite fast, just what you want in a thriller. However, sometimes the transitioning when Lola has her "spells" can get a little muddled. It works to convey the off-balance feeling she has throughout her time in Harrow Lake, but it can also seem like there is something missing. This book has some chills and thrills and serious subject matter, so I would not necessarily recommend it for younger or more sensitive readers, but if you like scary stories, I highly recommend Harrow Lake.
Trigger warnings: abuse (physical and sexual), injuries, disturbing imagery, terror.
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