The Grip Of It by Jac Jemc
My Rating: 5/5 Beans
Author: Jac Jemc
Pub Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: FSG Originals
"There is no acceptable, untainted name for a wilderness of the mind. People will always wonder what to believe. They expect the stray inaccuracies to be looted out and abandoned. They expect the mind's voice to unstitch only when alone. When the seams rip, they look away."
- The Grip Of It
Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real estate agent assures them with a smile. He is wrong.
The move—prompted by James’s penchant for gambling and his general inability to keep his impulses in check—is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to start afresh. But this house, which sits between a lake and a forest, has its own plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to establish a sense of normalcy, the home and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The framework— claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms—becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall—contracting, expanding—and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of painful, grisly bruises.
Like the house that torments the troubled married couple living within its walls, The Grip of It oozes with palpable terror and skin-prickling dread. Its architect, Jac Jemc, meticulously traces Julie and James’s unsettling journey through the depths of their new home as they fight to free themselves from its crushing grip.
"Not Real. Not Real Not Real..."
That's what I had to keep whispering to myself after I managed to finish The Grip of It in one sitting.
It's a smart, fresh, spooky tale that will haunt you long after you finish the last pages. The characters in this book feel so strikingly real, so much so that I was tempted to google Julie and James that live in a house with a wraparound porch, hidden between the lake and the woods. But I stopped myself...
Jac Jemc’s ability to write inside of this genre without making it tacky and stereotypical of psychological thrillers/horror should be applauded.
It’s a rare moment in time when literary fiction and horror marry, bringing brilliant prose and spine chilling terrors together into a seamless marriage.
It’s an unconventional story of a couple trying to make life work. When you love each other, shouldn’t trust be enough? Even with the unknowns of a haunted house making your life a living hell?
If you're looking for a book to send chills down your spine, The Grip of It delivers. But it also satisfies themes of love and trust and relationships.
Thank you to FSG Originals for sending a copy out to me. It's one of my favorites of 2017 so far!
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