Katrina Monroe and the Dark Side of Fiction

Katrina Monroe is an author, mother, and professional haterologist. Her favorite things to hate include socks that fall down, grape-flavored anything, and the color 'salmon.' Grab her books here.

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From the cover:

 

It’s Todd and Heather’s twenty-first anniversary. A blizzard rages outside their home, but it’s far colder inside. Their marriage is falling apart, the love they once shared gone, in its place only bitter resentment. As the night wears on, strange things start to happen in their house—bad things. If they can work together, they might find a way to survive until morning…but only if they don’t open the Winter Box.

 

Spoiler: They totally open the box.

 

With a gripping opening that Midwestern winter survivors can relate far too much to, THE WINTER BOX snatches hold of your collar and doesn’t let go. It reads like a movie, with vivid visuals to match.

 

Todd and Heather’s marriage is on the rocks. She’s trying so hard to make it work, but he’s just going through the motions. Typical, right? Not necessarily. With each page, the depth of their relationship and the consequences of its downfall build. The tension in their interactions is palpable, making the reader . We’ve all been where Todd and Heather are, and drawing on those memories as the story unfolds only helps to bring the characters to life in our minds.

 

The best part of this novella, though, is the way the author uses the blizzard raging outside. The weather is more than just a setting—it’s a character all on its own with a deeply unsettling personality. Heather thinks of the wind as screaming and biting in ways more literal than you’d imagine. The storm is the looming presence slowly closing in on their marital woes which, only on the surface, seem the bulk of the conflict.

 

As the story continues, however, the idea that something more is wrong sort of creeps up on you. A weird noise here. A twisted hallucination there. It’s almost impossible to tell where “reality” begins for the couple. Masterful subtle story-telling on the part of the author delivers that inevitable slap in the face at just the right moment when horror bleeds into something more literary: the death of love, and its return from the grave to seek revenge.

 

I’m a stickler for endings, and the ending of THE WINTER BOX delivered beautifully. Neither happy, nor sad, it’s the only right conclusion for the narrative.

 

If you’re in the mood for a quick, creepy read, THE WINTER BOX will satisfy. 

Book Review: The Winter Box

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