A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection.
However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
After reading an almost 800 page book, The Fireman by Joe Hill (Review Here), I needed to read a shorter book, so The Grownup was perfect, with less than 100 pages. It starts out rude and crude, which can be enjoyable, depending on your mood. The first two lines of the book are : “I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.” This instantly peaked my interest to see what direction this book would go.
Although the unnamed author gives great hand jobs, she doesn’t want to go into more risky sex work, and her wrist is getting bad with carpal tunnel, so she needs to find some different work. Being an excellent con artist her whole life, she doesn’t have skills you can put on a resume, but her boss at the tarot/hand job place, lets her work out front reading tarot. Here she meets a new mark, Susan, who is jittery, but after a few visits, it comes out that she thinks her house and step-son have something supernatural wrong with them.
The author thinks she can make a quick buck cleansing the house of bad mojo, but things quickly turn bizarre, and she begins to think there is actually something other worldly going on. Then we get treated to a game of; is there really something demonic going on, is the kid just a psychopath, does Susan have ulterior motives, is it something else…
I really did enjoy the story, I just think Flynn could have included more twists and turns to make the tension go up even higher. I enjoyed how it ended because it left you guessing. Some people hate books like that, but I think it’s good to use your imagination to imagine what really did happen. Sure, Flynn could have made it longer, but I think that would have turned it into a novel, and this was just supposed to be a short story. So many people want closure, but in real life, how often does that really happen?