February 21, 2012

The Glass Demon: A Snapshot

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

"The first death: Seventeen-year-old Lin Fox finds a body in an orchard. As she backs away in horror, she steps on broken glass. The second death: Then blood appears on her doorstep – blood, and broken glass. The third death: Something terrible is found in the cemetery. Shards of broken glass lie by a grave. Who will be next? 

As the attacks become more sinister, Lin doesn’t know who to trust. She’s getting closer to the truth behind these chilling discoveries, but with each move the danger deepens. Because someone wants Lin gone – and won’t give up until he’s got rid of her and her family. Forever." (from Goodreads)
The subject: a set of stained-glass windows that seem to be connected with a series of deaths and the rumor of a demon...

The setting: a small village in Germany in the present-day. (Points for a setting outside the U.S. or Britain!) Some of it feels Gothic, though — in the best sense.

Shutter speed: steady. It's not a thrilling page-flipper, but the mystery builds continually as one creepy event after another occurs. The pattern of events turns out to be pretty neat in a disturbing kind of way.

What's in the background? The characterization of Lin. She's not the most likeable character, but she's got a great voice with a snarky sense of humor that brought a much-needed lightness at times. Lin also manages to keep a cool head in a crisis, which I admire since I would totally panic in some of the situations she faces. However, she's very self-centered and hypocritical; she blames her father for breaking a promise, but she does the same thing more than once. What I really couldn't respect about her was her manipulative and opportunistic treatment of Michel (it takes her the whole book to come to her senses and realize his value). 

Zoom in on: the interpersonal problems within Lin's family, particularly her relationships with her sister and father. I would've liked to have seen more of Polly and the story behind her anorexia; it seems like it may have been mainly used as a plot device.

Anything out of focus? The villain reveal and climactic scene. I was suspecting someone else through most of the story but wasn't wowed by the actual villain, and the climax became too over-the-top to be realistically scary, resulting in something more farcical in nature than I think was intended.

Ready? Say...  "Bonschariant!"

Click! 3.5 shooting stars, and a warning: if you get spooked easily, don't read this book late at night!

Note: there is a bit of mature language in this one.

This book counts towards my goal for the Just Contemporary reading challenge.


  1. Great review! And thanks for the warning, I definitely spook easily and if I read or watch something late at night it can keep me up all night!

  2. I really like the sound of this! It'd be a plus to read a book set in Germany too.


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