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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Don’t Cross the X is a work of fiction in the horror genre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Tina LePere. Based on real-world events, the book tells the story of Pearl Hayes who lived in South Carolina in 1919. Normally a woman leading a perfectly contented life with her family, this changes when she earns the wrath of a local witch after stepping over a large X etched in the ground. As her life falls to pieces and evil begins seeping its way into her daily routine, Pearl must prepare herself to confront the witch who has cursed her in order to put her life back on track.
This was an exquisite setup for a horror story - a single target subjected to torment and enough ambiguity about whether the people around her truly believed her claims of being cursed so that the horror took on a psychological edge. Author Tina LePere’s presentation of a stable woman whose life slowly pulls apart thread by thread was a treat to read, with her prose and her ability to create a constantly growing sense of dread serving the finished story very well. Pearl doesn’t start off as the most likable of protagonists, being at the center of a life that is a little too neat and perfect to be relatable. But as Don’t Cross the X unfolds and that life is gradually deconstructed, we’re presented with a fascinating character study of a person on the edge and who has been there for longer than one might realize. An excellent read. I thoroughly recommend it.