In upstate New York, a little village named The Hollows is filled with secrets, mysteries, and a kind of eerie ambience that hovers over everything. In the Blood: A Novel is rife with these kinds of tales, and central to this one is a mysterious character named Lana Granger, a student at the college, whose secrets from the past are so well hidden, or so she thinks, that what transpires one winter will seemingly bring together a series of unconnected elements in such a way that synchronicity would seem to be at play.
A girl (Beck) goes missing; a young disturbed boy named Luke will play out a series of games with Lana, who has become his babysitter; and a professor named Langdon Hewes will seemingly be a benevolent presence in Lana’s life.
But is everything the way it seems, or is something more sinister going on? Why does Luke seem to know everything there is to know about Lana, and why do his games appear to be more and more dangerous? Why do the cops believe that Lana has done something to Beck? And just what are those horrible secrets she is hiding?
Narrated from Lana’s perspective, we soon learn that others see her as a compulsive liar, and by her own descriptions of events, it is clear that, at the very least, she is mentally unstable. But then so are many other characters: definitely Luke, who is eleven years old, but seems beyond his years in the knowledge one would expect, and behaves in such an erratic manner that he has been kicked out of most schools he has attended. And then there is the professor, Langdon Hewes, who seems kindly, but then begins to set off a strange vibe that fits right in with the ambience of The Hollows. Beck, the missing girl, is very manipulative and abrasive; and the only one in the story who seems balanced at all is Lana’s therapist, Dr. Cooper.
A mysterious diary alternately carries some of the narrative, and it took most of the book for me to figure out who was writing it. The final twists to the story kept me reading very late, turning pages and going: What? You are kidding me! Suffice it to say…I could not put it down. 5.0 stars.