Come Closer by Sara Gran – review

come closer sara granThis is a reprint of a review posted at another site.

Come Closer is a deceptively simple tale of supernatural possession. It is also one of the creepiest damn books that I have ever read.

Amanda is content and happy with her life. She has a great husband and enjoys a successful career. But a strange tapping noise in her home, that only she can hear, becomes a loose thread that threatens to unravel her world as she becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the source of it. Then the dreams start, possibly of a childhood imaginary friend. She starts to have obscene thoughts and increasingly she wants to hurt those people who are closest to her. Oh, and not to mention the strange woman that seems to be following her everywhere. But, there has to be a rational explanation for this gradual and at times sudden change in her behavior, right? It couldn’t be demonic possession and HAS to be stress or fear of responsibility as she grows older, right? WRONG!

The terse sentence structure, clipped wording and short chapters succeed in moving the story along at a rapid pace. The transformation of Amanda is refreshingly handled. As small things happen people begin to notice a change in her. The change seems, at first, to be a positive one where she is just exuding a large amount of confidence and other people are picking up on it. As she rounds the bend and becomes more suspicious of what’s going on, of course by this time the demon already has its hooks into her and it becomes harder to fight as its power over her grows.

Around this time when the possession is becoming more evident there is a brief amount of levity introduced in the way that Amanda starts to suspect that she may be possessed. She orders an architecture book online and the wrong title come in the mail instead. The book that comes, Demonic Possession: Past and Present, has a 10 point quiz inside entitled “Are You Possessed by a Demon”. The higher you score the more likely that you are possessed by a demon. She takes the quiz as a joke at first and scores low but returns to the quiz a couple more times and her score is higher each time. This leads her to the writer of the book, who isn’t really expecting a visitor, and of course isn’t able to help her.

As the changes become more drastic and destructive to her life the story changes gears from illustrating the mundane to flat out horrifying. To be honest to say any more about the third act which includes the demons identity, Amanda’s downward spiral, an interesting but brief conversation with another woman who is also possessed and is reaping the benefits since she isn’t fighting transformation, the complete dismantling of her world and the tragic ending would be criminal. It’s a book that picks up a lot of speed along the way then doesn’t slow down when it approaches the end of the track leading off of the cliff and happily leads you over the edge, just like Amanda

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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About Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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