Monday, October 23, 2023

The Switch House

Tim Meyer is a hotshot young horror author from the New Jersey Shore who has been appearing on a lot of “best-of” lists over the past few years. My first exposure to his work is his 2018 short novel, Switch House.

Angela and Terry are cast on a reality show called Let’s Switch Houses!, which is pretty much what it sounds like. Interestingly, the novel takes place when the couple returns to their own New Jersey house, which as been occupied for the past eight weeks by an unknown stranger. They only learn what was happening in their house in their absence when they sit together and watch the show along with the rest of America.

Even before the episodes broadcast, it’s clear to Angela that something is off in their own house. The place wasn’t frat-party trashed, but nothing feels right. Angela explains she feels like a stranger in a familiar house. The novel is mostly told through Angela‘s third-person perspective, and the author does some interesting tricks to showcase the fact that her perceptions are very different than her husband.

The bottom line is that a witchy lady was doing witchy stuff in their house while they were gone, and now this nice couple has to live in a haunted house. Meanwhile, their lives and family tragedies are being laid bare on reality television for the world to see.

Switch House is a combination of a haunted house story and a woman slipping into madness story. There are some cool plot twists I didn’t see coming, and some genuinely unnerving moments. Fans of paranoid, female-protagonist horror, along the lines of Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby, and whiplash-inducing plot twists will really enjoy this short novel. Consider it a must-read for fans of contemporary horror fiction. 

Buy a copy of this book HERE.

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