Review: Let Him In by William Friend

Let Him InLet Him In by William Friend
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With a cover that immediately grabbed by attention, Let Him In impressed me with its exploration of some really complicated family dynamics.

In this story, we meet Dad, Alfie, and his twin daughters, Cassia and Sylvie. Nine months ago, the girls’ Mum, and Alfie’s long-time partner, Pippa, died suddenly and unexpectedly in their home.

Alfie, battling his own grief, is struggling to parent the girls alone. In spite of the challenges, Alfie feels like overall, they’re doing okay. At least as well as could be expected.

Things take a turn though when the girls wake Alfie one night stating, ‘Daddy, there’s a man in our room…’

Cue eyebrow raise, jaw drop and shiver running up spine.

That starts the girls’ new found obsession with their imaginary friend, Black Mamba, who they describe as a man who can shape-shift into any animal. He protects them and also takes them on fabulous adventures.

Alfie calls in Pippa’s sister, the girls’ Aunt Julia, for help with the Black Mamba situation. As a psychiatrist, he feels Julia is probably much more qualified to navigate this situation than he is.

The Reader gets both Alfie and Julia’s perspectives as the drama with the girls’ new friend escalates.

What they both assume is just a coping mechanism following Pippa’s untimely death begins to feel like more, however, as a series of increasingly disturbing events occurs. This includes both Alfie and Julia having visions that could possibly be linked to the mysterious Black Mamba.

Will Julia and Alfie be able to exorcise this hostile presence from their lives? Their family has already been shattered by tragedy, but it seems this being, the hold he has over the girls, could end up causing even further irreparable harm.

I really enjoyed my time with this story. I did end up listening to the audiobook and appreciate that it included the use of dual narration. Having a different voice for both Alfie and Julia helped to bring the story to life.

I thought the family dynamics were fascinating, not just amongst our main characters, but the backstory of Pippa and Julia’s family as well.

This is a debut novel for William Friend and I feel like it’s definitely impressive in that regard. The story has a ominous, haunting feel throughout that succeeded in getting under my skin.

There were a couple places towards the end where I got a little lost, but that could totally just be my own issue. Wandering mind and all that. Besides those couple of spots though, overall, I was extremely invested in this.

One of my favorite Horror tropes is the creepy kid trope. Friend definitely nailed that. Bonus points for them being twins and for the super-disturbing imaginary friend.

I’m not going to say anything else about this one, because I feel it’s best served if you go in knowing just the basics. Settle in and go along for the ride. This is the perfect read to kick off your October Spooky Season TBR.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press and Dreamscape Media, for providing me with copies to read and review. I’m looking forward to more from William Friend!

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