Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis. With huge thanks to The Write Reads for organising and also to the publisher Penguin for having me on the tour.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.
The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.
The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…
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I didn’t realise Harrow Lake was a young adult book until I came to write this review. If this is the standard of books aimed at the younger generations then I may be a convert… Harrow Lake is really sinister!
The novel centres around Lola Nox, daughter of favour movie director Nolan Nox. When Nolan is attacked in their home and ends up in hospital, Lola is sent to live with her grandmother in the backwater town of Harrow Lake. Harrow Lake also happens to be the location of Nolan’s most famous movie, Nightjar.
Nightjar is the movie that made Nolan Nox, it’s also the movie that introduced him to his ex-wife, and Lola’s estranged mother. This relationship forms the basis of the storyline for me. Lola was abandoned by her mother and raised by her father. Her Father is something of a control freak and although Lola is the typical opinionated and somewhat (read: very) irritating teen it’s easy to see that she’s quite damaged. Lola aims to behave in an ‘optimal’ manner with everyone she meets but she usually fails miserably – this is down to the fact she has only her father for company. Friends are frowned upon – they always want something after all.
Anyway. Harrow Lake… the town of Harrow Lake is creepy. Stuck in a time warp of the 1920’s the locals are living their lives as part of a living movie set. The town has changed very little from the time Nightjar was made, and has it’s own horror story to tell. The urban legend of Mister Jitters stalking the town, young girls going missing and a tree that the locals hang TEETH from as an offering results in a dark and twisted story.
If you have a phobia of beetles, teeth or things that go bump in the night maybe consider reading this one with the lights on.
Mister Jitters is coming to get you…
Harrow Lake is published by Penguin on 9th July 2020. Support your local bookshops by pre-ordering through Hive.co.uk
About the Author
Kat Ellis lives in North Wales with her husband and their two cats. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time watching every horror movie under the sun and exploring the picturesque views and creepy ruins of the Welsh countryside.
I received a complimentary copy of Harrow Lake via the publisher Penguin and Netgalley. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion. So it is.