On New Year’s Eve 1999 advertising creative Guy Russell, his wife Mia and young son Callum arrive in New York City to start a new life. Back in their native Australia things had got pretty bad, following a bout of rough sex Mia had lost their baby and Guy holds himself responsible for their loss.
Headhunted by an old pal, for Guy New York is full of opportunity, a successful pitch lands him a commission almost straight away, but then Mia starts seeking solace in the bottle and Callum seems to have become obsessed with Bubby, his dead.baby sister.
A holiday upstate does nothing to solve their problems and only serves to convince Guy that Callum is possessed by the spirit of Bubby. It’s all downhill from here as Mia falls apart, Guy’s increasingly erratic behaviour at work gets him fired and all manner of strange creepy stuff starts to happen around Callum. Is Callum truly possessed or has the stress of coping with the tragedy driven Guy to the brink of madness?
I thought The Evil Inside started well, but lost steam towards the middle as the author attempted to fill out the back-story of Guy’s own tragic childhood, and then foundered on a couple of clumsy red herrings before the narrative progressed to an all too predictable twist at the conclusion. I also found Guy a hard character to either like or to empathise with. That’s not to say it’s a badly written book, the language used is mature and intelligent, but I felt the story did get a bit lost on its way.
A supernatural child possession chiller or a psychological descent into madness, I give The Evil Inside a 444/666.
The Evil Inside is published by Quercus in the UK price £7.99.