Guest Post: A Book That Scares Michael Northrop

(Design & illustration by Robert Roxby)

By Michael Northrop, author of TRAPPED

Looking for a good, creepy read? Say ’ello to my Little Friend Stranger! Well, not mine exactly: Sarah Waters wrote The Little Stranger; I’m just the fool it scared silly. It is the tale of a threadbare country doctor, a crumbling English manor house, and the eccentric family within. Yes, there is a ghostly, malevolent presence but just as haunting are the more familiar themes of class, need, loneliness, and isolation.

In fact, while the book is a brilliantly effective, page-turning thriller, it’s not immediately clear if it’s of the paranormal or psychological variety. (If there’s such a thing as paralogical—or psychonormal?—this book is it.) Whatever the case, The Little Stranger turned a hot stretch last summer into a bone-chilling trip to the misty English moors, and the ending left me both thrilled and shaken. If you decide to make the same journey, know that you will encounter many strange things along the way. There will be fumbling foxtrots, ominous flashbacks, construction in the day and destruction in the night, electric shocks, grisly bites, and, oh yes, there will be blood.

Michael Northrop is the author of two YA novels: Gentlemen (2009), an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Trapped (2011), an Indie Next List selection. As a child, he had a cemetery just beyond his backyard. As an adult, he has skeletons in his closet.

Visit Michael at

Follow @mdnorthrop on Twitter.

Comment on this guest blog and you’ll gain an extra entry for the big Halloween giveaway on October 31, containing prize packs of signed books plus books and ARCs donated by my publisher Penguin Teen!  

You can keep track of all the “What Scares You?” guest blogs with this tag.

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