Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?
After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).
Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune and one final manuscript.
Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment was never solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother.
Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…
- Title: You Let Me In
- Author: Camilla Bruce
- Cover Artist: Greg Collins, design
- Publisher: Tor Books
- ISBN: 1250302048
- Publication Date: April 21, 2020
- Content Warnings: child abuse, rape, incest, pedophilia
I’d like to thank Tor Books for providing an advance copy via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.
You Let Me In is an astonishing debut novel that explores horrors both supernatural and all too common in the mundane world. It is a murder mystery, a chronicle of childhood trauma, and a thought-provoking look at the boundaries between the “real” world and the world beyond the veil. This crushing, suspenseful book shows how frightening faeries really are and how much damage can be done by the people in this world who are supposed to love you the most.
Cassandra Tipp has disappeared. After a tumultuous life plagued by scandal and blood, she leaves behind no body; only a manuscript remains for her heirs to read to learn the true story of her life as she straddled the human and the faerie worlds. Cassie is a captivating narrator. Though she is a victim of severe trauma who may be mentally ill, her narration feels far more reliable than the versions of her story put forward by many of the cruel and cowardly (but supposedly saner) people surrounding her. In this shockingly original and disturbing debut, author Camilla Bruce slowly unspools Cassie’s story, letting the real world and the world of the Fae bleed together just enough to give readers the sickening realization of what truly happened to Cassie as a child.
After reading the book, you may disagree with my use of the word “truly,” for Bruce constantly blurs the lines between the different versions of reality that exist within and around Cassie’s story. As Cassie herself points out more than once, though, there’s no need to choose just one version of reality. She herself acknowledges that she suffered both supernatural and mundane terrors. It’s clear that what happened in her childhood home was appalling and heartbreaking, whether you view her experiences among the Fae as gut-wrenching metaphors or as inevitable consequences of her mundane life. (I urge you to look at the content warnings listed above to make sure you’re in a healthy place to read this book.)
You Let Me In will sink its fangs into you and hold you close, whispering of grotesque faeries that look nothing like the sanitized sprites many of us grew up with and telling you that there are indeed monsters in your bedroom. This book is a mystery, a tragedy, and the darkest of fairy tales. It is a difficult, disturbing read, but it is also a beautiful, breathless story that I highly recommend to those who are able to wade through its pages safely.
I can’t stop thinking about this book. I give it 5 out of 5 coffins.