The Undertaker’s Daughter by John James Minster

A monster story Mary Shelly would be proud of.

The Undertaker’s Daughter is a chilling horror novel that follows the story of Anna Dingel, a socially awkward teenager who is raised in a family funeral home. The author does an excellent job of setting the right atmosphere from the beginning and keeps the tension high throughout the book.

The central premise of the book, which I’ll leave you to discover for yourself, is intriguing and keeps the reader on edge. As the story progresses, you are taken on a journey filled with unexpected twists and deliciously creepy supernatural goings on.

The characters are well-developed and relatable, particularly Anna, whose struggles with self-identity and social acceptance add depth to the story. The relationship between Anna and her best friend Naomi is also well-written, adding an emotional layer to the story.

The author weaves in elements of Jewish magic, adding an intriguing aspect to the story. Think Cavalier and Klay with a body count, Heathers with occult death-magic. Anna seeks to gain power and control over her problems, but as you can imagine, nothing goes entirely to plan.

Overall, The Undertaker’s Daughter is a gripping horror novel that is sure to satisfy readers of this genre, yet it also seeks to elevate itself to become a story about truth and consequences, crime and punishment, light and dark.

There is subtlety and finesse here, if you know where to look, and if you are not peering through your fingers with fright.

This is a competent and sometimes elegant variation on Frankensteinian horror and there’s certainly nothing here to make Mary Shelley spin in her grave – unless of course Anna Dingel catches up with her.

Hellbender Books sent me an ARC copy in exchange for my frank and honest review.

Luna will return for the next one.

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