Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on July 13, 2022
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher is a horror novella, and basically a re-make of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher".

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Retired soldier Alex Easton visits his childhood friend Madeline Usher, after receiving a letter saying that she is very unwell, and that her twin brother Roderick is very concerned with her health.

The decline in health of both Madeline and  Roderick comes as a shock to Alex.  They are both emaciated, both almost white in colour.  Roderick is overly anxious and Madeline has problems sleepwalking, and even her gait is strange.  An American doctor is visiting, and he is baffled as well.

In the countryside, a British mycologist is studying mushrooms and fungal growths in the area, and Alex wonders if there is something in the area that could be causing Madeline's illness.  Something is certainly affecting the wildlife and lake.

My Opinions:  
First, the cover creeped me out.

Second, I was surprised (pleasantly) with the humour and writing of this short novella.  I don't generally enjoy humour in my fiction/horror, but there were some great lines!   I hope the author starts writing more books for adults,  or I'm going to have to start reading children's books...

Third, I love the way she described tinnitus and balance issues.  I have Meniere's and it's so true!

The actual plot, although taken from Poe's epic short story, has it's own twists and variations.  It was very atmospheric and creepy.  The characters were great.  I thought Hob the horse was classic, as was Mrs. Potter (apparently Beatrix Potter's maiden aunt).  I loved the use of pronouns, and the fact that Alex was non-binary.   Both the house and the tarn took on new meanings for creepy characters....not to mention the hares!

For a short story, you couldn't ask for more!
Report Permalink