Welcome to Harrow Lake.
Someone’s expecting you.
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 swiftly 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 then there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone – or something – 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 . . .
Hi and welcome to my review of Harrow Lake! Huge thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads for the invite and to Penguin and NetGalley for the eARC!
Harrow Lake begins with an interview with Nolan Nox. His name makes him seem like a bit of a DC Comics villain but he’s actually a famous filmmaker. From that interview we learn that Nightjar was Nox’s biggest success, an iconic horror movie shot in Harrow Lake, and we also glean that Nolan’s teenage daughter Lola went to Harrow Lake the previous year… and vanished.
No sooner have we digested this information or we’re taken back in time to one year earlier. Lola is out on the town in New York City and when she returns to their apartment, she finds her father stabbed and bleeding to death. While he is taken to hospital, she is packed off to Harrow Lake, to live with a grandmother she hadn’t even realised she had.
Harrow Lake is the perfect setting. Kat Ellis absolutely NAILS the small and creepy town, its weird and secretive inhabitants, its folklore and local legends like Mister Jitters, and infuses it with a vibe that is straight from the horror classics I loved when I was about Lola’s age. Knowing like we do that something is bound to happen to Lola, every little thing seems even more sinister, and although there are no hard horror scenes, there is a definite scary movie feel to Harrow Lake. In fact, I’m hoping so hard that this one will be picked up by the movie industry, done well Harrow Lake could be an excellent scary movie!
Harrow Lake made me think of C.J. Tudor’s books: despite the supernatural angle, there is also human vileness at the heart of things, so if you’re a C.J. Tudor fan I would highly recommend you give this one a whirl.
Harrow Lake is an addictive horroresque thriller that is guaranteed to give you some chills this summer. Recommended!