|Amazon USA Amazon UK|
Review by Suze
Sixteen-year-old Gretchen had no idea she has a great-aunt. She hears from her for the first time when she's being asked to stay with Esther at the house that will soon be hers. Esther is a photographer just like Gretchen and her mother. Gretchen hopes she will learn more about her mother who one day disappeared and was never found. That is why she immediately accepts Esther's invitation. The family mansion is haunted and Gretchen doesn't have much time to get used to the house and to her great-aunt.
When something tragic happens Gretchen has to dig into the past to uncover her family's secrets. By reading letters, looking at photographs and visiting neighbors she slowly uncovers the truth. The house isn't safe and terrible accidents keep happening. Gretchen has to find out what's going on before it's too late. She's the only one who can do it and her task isn't an easy one, because of the dangerous location and the angry spirits. Will she have a chance to succeed?
What the Dead Want is a book that gripped me from the start and I read it in one sitting. It's a fast-paced story about an extremely creepy house, a dark past and horrible deaths. I had tears in my eyes while I was reading the final chapters. Norah Olson has chosen a perfect setting for her impressive story. The house is absolutely hideous on the inside. There's a lot going on and besides spirits there are many gross animals that are keeping them company. The story itself is quite deep and there are plenty of horrors, especially near the end. Nightmares from the past have been combined with disgusting things that crawl and with upset ghosts, which is a combination that works very well.
Gretchen has to grow up quickly if she wants to complete her task. Her inheritance isn't a joy, it's a dangerous burden. She has to right a lot of wrongs and doesn't come out unscathed. Norah Olson doesn't spare her main characters and the eeriness comes in many different forms and sizes. What the Dead Want might not be a bloody type of horror story, but it's definitely scary. I devoured this book and think it's truly amazing.