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Sonja Ska Reviews, 4/25/2024


Laurel Hightower knows how to fuck me up. 


Ever since reading Crossroads, I knew Hightower had a knack for burrowing into your chest and ripping your heart out. She's back for a second round of emotional devastation with The Day of the Door. Following a family tragedy, three siblings try to figure out what happened the day their mother pulled their 17-year-old brother into a room where he died. Stella claims to have been possessed and that Shawn took his own life. Twenty years later, Stella is ready to tell her side of the story - so long as Nate and his sisters agree to return to their childhood home and be filmed by a ghost-hunting reality TV show. 


The Day of the Door is about broken, haunted things- but we're not just talking about ghosts. Generational trauma sits at the center of this story, and its effects reverberate out, adding layers of tension to an already nerve-wracking plot. It's easy for a story like this to lose focus, but Hightower masterfully uses emotional pain to narrow in on the supernatural, creating a palpable dread that made my skin crawl. There were so many points where I felt trapped, cornered by Nate's anger, Stella's cruel narcissism, and a hidden danger looming in the background, biding its time while the Lascos unraveled.


This is one of those books where figuring out the answers transforms into a physical need. Each page leaves you wriggling with discomfort that seeps just under your skin, and the only way to satiate it is by figuring out what happened. You have to trust that the stress and anger are well-earned and worth it. 


If you like psychological thrillers heavily infused with horror, you'll have a great time with The Day of the Door. 


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