Reviews of Dark Fiction

Sundial by Catriona Ward

Having been enamored with 2021’s THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET, I jumped on the opportunity to read SUNDIAL. I was not disappointed!

Rob and her cheating, despicable husband are doing their best to raise their two girls. However, Rob thinks that her oldest daughter, Callie, may be trying to hurt her little sister, Annie. As a few more suspicious events occur, Rob becomes more and more concerned, and decides to separate the two, by bringing Callie with her out to a desert compound left to her by her deceased parents. Once there though, events spiral out of control, until….well, I guess you’ll just have to read this to find out!

Just like in NEEDLESS STREET, SUNDIAL holds most of its secrets close until the very end, just not quite as successfully. I thought I might have an inkling of what would happen, but I was only partially right. Because of Rob’s personal history, I didn’t care for her as much as I should have, but I had to admire her strength either way. The dynamics between all the characters were constantly changing; consequently my feelings for them were constantly changing as well. I love that.

The scenes taking place in the desert at Sundial were so vividly described, I could almost feel the dry, hot, days and the cool-then downright cold nights. To me, Sundial itself was a character.

I feel like I do need to point out that dogs play a large part in this story and what happens to them is just not good. If this kind of thing is a trigger for you, you might want to skip this one. I am not a fan of animal abuse stories, but the way it was portrayed here, it was not too much for me. Your mileage may vary.

Even though this book didn’t touch my heart as deeply as Needless Street did, it was still cleverly constructed, well written, surprising, and included characters that were constantly in a state of flux. All of these things, to me, spell out a harrowing read and I heartily recommend it!

Thanks to Tor Nightfire, for the ARC in exchange for my honest feedback!

Sundial Book Cover Sundial
Catriona Ward
Horror, Dark Fiction, Mystery Suspense

Sundial is a new, twisty psychological horror novel from Catriona Ward, internationally bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street.

You can't escape what's in your blood...

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.

"A story where nothing is what it seems―a thrilling hall of mirrors full of deeply disturbing twists. This book will haunt you." ―Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Sundial is a heart-in-the-throat smash.” ―Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman

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