Warning – Not for the Faint of Heart – This book contains some grisly stuff, including a monster that kills things and hangs them from trees by their entrails. Are you still interested? Near the Bone by Christina Henry is a riveting, suspenseful, creepy horror novel with an underdog protagonist.
Twenty-something Mattie lives on a snowy mountain with abusive William, who “owns her” and calls her his wife. Their domain is a humble cabin in the woods, no electricity, no running water, no gas, no phone. Mattie has had no contact with other people for twelve years. The action starts early in the novel, when she discovers a bloody dead fox laying uneaten in the snow. As she and William go searching the next day to find what they assume is a large bear, they find the creature is nothing like any animal they have ever encountered. The story starts with two monsters, one being William, adds three travelers who have come to the mountain looking for cryptids, and soon, the reader can’t put down the book.
While this is primarily a plot-driven book, the development of the character Mattie, from submissive to resourceful and protective, from mouse to falcon, rounds out the story, making it a fulfilling read. If you like Bird Box by Josh Malerman or Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton you may like this book.