Something, or someone, lurks behind the black windows and fire-charred walls of the abandoned house at 3323 Michigan Street. Whether it's a murderer, a ghost or a palpable echo of past evil, it has lured 15-year-old Mark Underhill inside with his flashlight and crowbar.
This haunted-house story doesn't follow old scripts; Straub is the master of subtle, smoldering dread. He even bends the smell of chocolate-chip cookies to his dire purpose: It heralds the eerie arrival of just one of young Mark's pursuers, a "lost girl" living in the house. This consummate horror novelist's creepy, erudite vision of the beyond will chill you like a winter wind.