Chills by Mary SanGiovanni

Chills - Mary SanGiovanni

"Evil in a small town" is a trope that appeals to me very much, especially when it's well done. Combine it with a smidge of cosmic horror and a heaping helping of police procedural and voila! You have the recipe for Chills.


You might actually GET the chills while reading this book. Atmosphere is a favorite facet of dark storytelling for me and this book has it in spades. The snow is constantly falling over the small town of Colby, Connecticut. It's created drifts, because the wind is howling and sometimes you catch glimpses of things in the snow. Are they real, or is it just your eyes playing tricks? You'll have to read Chills to find out.


Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was the the tightness of the prose. It's clean and precise. Not a lot of time is spent going on and on with descriptions of the town or the snow drifts. I thought just enough time was spent getting to know the characters and I developed a real feeling for the character of Kathy, due to her horror-show of a brother, Toby. I would have liked a bit more information on Toby's cult, the Hand of the Black Stars, though; mostly because I find that kind of thing fascinating. I also wouldn't have minded a little more of the cosmic horror aspect over the police procedural one and for these reasons, I've deducted 1 star.


Chills was a lot of fun, especially if you consider shivering while you're reading to be fun. I know I do. Recommended to fans of: atmospheric dark fiction, evil in a small town stories, and the always fascinating Old Gods and the people who serve them. (Just make sure you wear a warm sweater!)


*Thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Kensington/Lyrical Underground for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*