How to Sell a Haunted House, while actually covering the topic in the title, is much, much more than a real-estate guide. As with most of Grady Hendrix’s books, the real story is in the lives, memories, minds and history of the characters. Siblings with very different memories of a life lived together, puppets and dolls and squirrels – yes, that’s relevant – all play parts in both versions of a past that leads to places far darker and more twisted than anyone involved could individually conceive.

Children of a mother who ran a “puppet ministry,” Mark and Louise find themselves drawn together to deal with their parent’s sudden deaths in a traffic accident. The two are estranged and have fought all their lives. But do they know why? The family has secrets, and everyone believes they know what they are… but do they?

One thing is certain, you will come away from this with an inability to sit in a room with puppets without keeping an eye on them, and if someone was to slip in behind you in that room and holler COCKAWEEWEE you’d never sleep again.

Great new entry into the haunted dolls / puppets sub-genre of horror and a perfect candidate for Hollywood. Highly recommended.

I listened to the audiobook version of this, narrated by Mikhaila Aasent and Jay Aeseng. While I enjoyed having Jay tell Mark’s story, it was jarring to suddenly have Mark, one of the characters who speaks often in the main narrative, voiced by a completely different person, in a different tone and speech pattern. The book gained nothing by this and would have been better had it been a single narrator. Both are talented voice artists, but when characters are split out, they should either always be voiced by the second narrator, or that second narrator becomes more of an issue than a feature.

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