I really, really wish I had known what I was getting into when I started this book.
I thought it was just a typical paranormal romance/urban fantasy book, based on the descriptions of it I had read. In hindsight, I probably should have attached more significance to the title.
I don't get disturbed easily. I've read true crime stories about serial killers, hundreds of murder mysteries, sat through all of the Hellraiser movies...I never batted an eyelash. But not even halfway through this book, I was writing to my husband, begging him to make the book stop. His advice was to stop reading, which I just can't do.
Now, I'll grant it that a lot of the book's horror comes from a personal phobia of mine. I won't mention which part of it had me uncomfortably squirming. However, there's plenty of creepy thrown in there to scare everyone. Sociopaths kidnapping children in the woods, the underground, the circus paraphernalia, clowns, the monster snake trying to eat everybody, the feeling of being locked up when you have no hope of escape or rescue...the book's got it covered.
The way the book transitioned from the beginning to the actual plot was wonderful. As it opens, you fall safely into the assumption that this is a paranormal murder mystery, with a heavily romance-influenced plot. It strings you along, letting you believe that the book's purpose is all about finding Aisha. Then, when you're least expecting it...BAM! You get thrown into the REAL story.
Not a lot of information is given out in this book, and the bits of story you *do* get are slow in coming. But the overall atmosphere of the book is so disturbing, it sort of slips your mind that you still don't have any answers about what exactly is going on.
The book ended in a cliffhanger I saw coming miles away (not what happened, but the fact that the book would go out in a cliffhanger), but it didn't feel very open ended, or leave me screaming in frustration. It could easily have been a standalone novel - albeit, one with an ending that leaves you with more questions than answers.