Book Review – Madhouse by Miguel Estrada

First published, 2017

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

When eleven-year-old Lucas overhears his parents arguing, he decides: the best way to prevent them from getting divorced is to run away from home. During the ensuing search, young Lucas thinks that his parents are bound to put their differences aside and stick together.

However, having crept from his house and out onto the street, it’s mere moments before Lucas notices a large black car with tinted windows, following him. Although reminding himself that his mother would tell him never to speak to strangers, Lucas decides to get in the car with the unknown woman. And when she offers to adopt him and have him live with her husband and her mother-in-law, it’s not long before Lucas finds himself losing consciousness in the passenger seat.

Thus begins a very scary story, with violence, peril, a heartbreaking history and a shocking conclusion. The writing was simple and effective, the characters well-drawn and frightening. More than once, I found myself pleading with the book for Lucas to find safety, or a weapon, or an adult, that’s how far I was pulled into the narrative.

Dark and heavy, but if you’re into your horror, this is a great story.