When I heard this was based on Mary Shelly’s classic Frankenstein and being compared to the show American Horror Story, I knew I needed to read this book immediately. This was my first Jennifer McMahon book, though I do have others on my shelf, and it will certainly not be my last.
The story jumps back and forth between the events of 1978 and present at a Vermont ‘treatment center’. Founded by Dr. Helen Hildreth, the center uses unconventional methods to treat patients, and is home not just to Hildreth but also to her two orphaned grandchildren Eric and Violet. In 1978, Hildreth decides to bring a young patient, Iris, to live in her home on the property. Iris doesn’t talk and Eric and Violet quickly initiate her into their special Monster Club – where they search for and catch various monsters. As Iris grows closer to Eric and Violet, an accident will leave all three of them changed forever.
In the present-day Podcaster Lizzy Shelley has heard rumors of the abductions of young girls, near the treatment center. As the host of the podcast Monsters Among Us, Lizzy narrates her investigation into the abduction. Lizzy knows that monsters exist, and as she gets deeper into her investigation, she’s convinced that the events of 1978 and the disappearances are tied together.
McMahon did a wonderful job of layering the two stories and weaving them into one intriguing, dark, and thrilling story! I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book and was honestly surprised by the ending. Which when you read as many thrillers as I do is a huge complement. If you enjoy atmospheric thrillers with excellent storylines, or even a fan of supernatural thrillers, then this is a great book for you! Will definitely be adding Jennifer McMahon to my auto read author list!
Children on the Hill is out now. Huge thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.