Reviewing: Knucklebones, by Marni Scofidio
A powerful drama of desire and loathing, Marni Scofidio’s Knucklebones is one of the sharpest horror novels I’ve read in the past two years – a truly fascinating study in human psychology, repression, and rage. The novel is set in the windy wilds of Northern Wales, where the landscape and culture are the backdrop for the unexpected clash between Daere – a responsible, tidy woman from a generation weaned on responsibility, politeness, and duty – and Clary – a single mother who slowly transitions from a trusted friend to a perilous preoccupation of the increasingly troubled Daere. The novel follows this strange fixation through a labyrinth of increasing intensity and suspense.
Like Poe and Blackwood, Scofidio excels at exploring both sides of the human condition: the physical and the psychological, the corrupted sinews of the flesh and the sublime expanses of the soul. Scofidio’s talent lies in plumbing the carefully hidden shadowlands of the unconscious – in exploring the power of dark desires, the intensity of the human will, and the thunderous demands of the Id. An engaging and disturbing read, it whispers alluringly to us in the first, shadowy half before chasing us to the ending in an emotional sprint. You will find yourself face-to-face with a shocking exploration of one woman’s strangest urges, and another’s terrifying attempt to comprehend them. Knucklebones is a
white-knuckle read to be sure.
Renowned for her short stories, Marni Scofidio's debut novel has been long anticipated, and is already garnering favorable reviews and buzz.
Knucklebones is being published by PS Publishing, an excellent source for genre fiction (everything from Lovecraftian weird fiction and science fiction to psychological horror and dark fantasy). You can find it here, at www.pspublishing.co.uk.