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Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite
The Splintering Place is Venessa Kimball’s latest work of horror fiction aimed at mature readers due to its depictions of violence. The book follows carer Isabel Prado as she takes on Joan Gideon as a client during her twilight years. Moving into the Gideon family home, Isabel discovers that the long and storied history of the home and the family within it has created a dark and dangerous place filled with inexplicable happenings and terrifying visions. As Joan’s faculties begin to fade, the secrets within the family home threaten to bring Isabel to her knees as her sanity is called into question.
The gothic trappings of Gideon House and its supernatural narrative are elevated by the engaging modern prose which wastes none of the story’s potential in building a tense but captivating atmosphere throughout this book. As Venessa Kimball’s expertly crafted web of secrets and intrigue draws both Isabel and the reader deeper in, the tension is masterfully controlled. With memorable peaks of horror and a persistent sense that the next danger is just around the corner, The Splintering Place is a work of exquisite layers. It starts with the characterization of Isabel and Joan which is wonderfully nuanced and continues through to the setting and atmosphere, which sustains a powerful sense of unease on every page. The twists and turns of this supernatural thriller, with its endless supply of original and compelling ideas, will keep readers guessing right up until the final sentence.