Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 21st, 2020
Synopsis: Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?
After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).
Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune and one final manuscript.
Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother.
Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…
I have to be honest and admit I struggled in the beginning of You Let Me In. I think this was due to me realizing a couple of chapters in, that this story wasn’t going to bear much resemblance to what the synopsis described. I was expecting a psychological suspense story, and instead it turned more into a dark fantasy. I hope the publisher changes this before the publishing date because it’s misleading and an annoying distraction.
That said, once I was about thirty pages in I actually enjoyed reading this dark, deeply twisted tale. Camilla Bruce’s writing is beautifully detailed and truly serves to bring her disturbing characters and settings to life. Throughout the story and even at the end, the question of whether Cassie is the victim of horrific child abuse, or has been pulled into the clutches of the twisted and manipulative Pepper-Man, is never truly answered, which I found both frustrating and brilliant. I love books (mostly) that make you think and tie your insides into knots, and this one certainly accomplishes that. Cassie is a flawed yet sympathetic character and her suffering broke my heart.
While I had some misgivings in the beginning, I wound up being completely captivated by Let Me In. It’s a cross between Neil Gaiman and Sarah Pinborough, and I unhesitatingly recommend it to readers who enjoy unsettling dark fantasy mixed with psychological suspense. I would warn survivors of child sexual abuse that this book has multiple triggers. While Cassie’s abuser is left shrouded in ambiguity, there’s no doubt that she is a victim, and I think there are some scenes that might bother some people. My list of trigger warnings are: Implied sexual abuse, implied abortion, verbal abuse, murder, and suicide. Overall, I think it’s a very creative and utterly mesmerizing debut by Camilla Bruce and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work in the future.