Looking Glass Sound is the newest twisty psychological horror novel from Catriona Ward, the internationally bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial.
In a lonely cottage overlooking the windswept Maine coast, Wilder Harlow begins the last book he will ever write. It is the story of his childhood summer companions and the killer that stalked the small New England town. Of the body they found, and the horror of that discovery echoing down the decades. And of Sky, Wilder’s one-time best friend, who stole his unfinished memoir and turned it into a lurid bestselling novel, Looking Glass Sound.
But as Wilder writes, the lines between memory and fiction blur. He fears he’s losing his grip on reality when he finds notes hidden around the cottage written in Sky’s signature green ink.
Catriona Ward delivers another mind-bending and cleverly crafted tale about one man’s struggle to come to terms with the terrors of his past… before it’s too late.
Hi and welcome to my review of Looking Glass Sound!
Looking Glass Sound is set for the most part in a cosy little wind-swept beach town and clearly that wind swept all the way to Belgium and blew all coherent thoughts right out of my head. What the frick did I just read? Honestly, I have no clue but I do know I loved it!
Okay, so, if you’re at all familiar with Catriona Ward’s writing, you’ll know that she’s the absolute queen of stories that look like one thing but turn out to be something entirely different. Looking Glass Sound is no exception. Fortunately, I know better than to expect anything whenever I pick up a book from this author, I skip the blurb, dive right in and let the current take me wherever it will. If you’ve read the blurb and you think you’ll know what kind of story you’ll get, think again. Or rather, try not to think at all, cos it will make your head hurt.
Looking Glass Sound starts out as a rather innocuous coming-of-age story with three close friends. Think The Wonder Years but make it darker. Where is this going, I wondered more than once. But while that feeling can irk me in some books, here it just kept me intrigued (and not at all amused when I was forced to socialise and had to stop reading).
As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but spout theories. Me, myself and I had some great discussions about what might be happening, even if they did break my brain. I tried very hard not to try and figure things out, but sleuthing comes with reading, even when it’s not a classic mystery or whodunnit but a book like this, that is either a multitude of genres, or a genre all of its own. For the record, I did cotton on to the general gest of the story, but I got all the details wrong.
Looking Glass Sound is my favourite Catriona Ward to date. It is mind-boggling and reality-warping and really rather confusing at times, and I think that might put a few readers off, but it really worked for me. It is both stepping through the looking glass and a trip through crazy town and I mean that in the very best way. If you’re looking for a book to rock your bookish world, this is it. Highly recommended.
Looking Glass Sound is out in digital formats, audio and hardcover on 20 April, with the paperback to follow next year.
Massive thanks to Viper Books and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.