The Grip of It by Jac Jemc is creepy, spooky, strange, weird, complicated and wonderful. Julie and James are looking to get a fresh start in their young marriage after James has some gambling problems. They buy a house in the quiet suburbs, even though the realtor showing them the house points out a few quirks such as a strange humming sound and a plethora of hidden passages and rooms. They find they quickly get used to the sounds in the house but their elderly neighbor is less than friendly and strange things begin happening. Julie and James both start seeing unusual things in the house, but neither mentions what they are seeing for fear of frightening the other. Eventually they cannot ignore what is happening in the house and to themselves as things start to escalate and they know they must address the problem head on.
“When I pass the guestroom, I see Julie sitting in the dark wearing and old Mardi Gras mask we’d brought home from vacation once upon a time. ” What are you doing in there?” She whispers, “Nothing”. I barely hear it. I exhale a short laugh. I keep moving to our bedroom. “What am I doing in where?” Julie says from our bed. She is tucked in tight, book in hand. “
The Grip of It is a quick read, it’s under 300 pages and the chapters are very short, some even just a page or two long. I felt like it was disjointed and choppy but in a weirdly good way. I was reminded of the opening credits of the show American Horror Story. That opening shows lots of strange and scary images, flashing on the screen randomly. I always thinks that it is the scariest part of the show because it feels so distorted. About halfway through, I realized how difficult it must have been to write a book in which the content doesn’t make sense but would have to make sense for a person to be able to read it. Any paranormal activity or ghost story is uncharted territory and of course would not follow the norms of mortal thinking. So what was happening in the book made no sense, but the plot progressed in a forward moving progress. In my opinion: a hard task for a writer but well done! Enough rambling from me! A great creepy haunted house story, I give it 5 out of 5 stars! I know it will stay with me for a while!