The Night Strangers begins when Chip Linton crashes his plane into Lake Champlain; thirty-nine, plus him, survive the crash. In the months that folllow, Chip suffers from extreme depression and guilt. His wife Emily decides that moving from Pennsylvania to quaint little Bethel, New Hampshire will help Chip heal. However, soon after they’ve moved into their new house, Chip discovers a door in the basement with thirty-nine bolts on it. The coincendce is not lost on him and soon he becomes wrapped up in the door. As Chip battles the ghosts of the wreck, Emily notices that the women–those who call themselves herbalists– of Bethel have taken a bizarre interest in her twin daughters.
I have read and enjoyed some of Christ Bohjalian’s other books , but this book was something outside his usual realm. Bohjalian usually writes stories about extremely difficult moral situations. While The Night Strangers is as intense as his usual works, it is spectacularly creepy. Bohjalian uses his understanding of people to write a gripping thriller and mystery. It has a lot of hallmarks of most ghost and horror stories, but there is nothing formulaic about it. I was impressed with the execution of the story and the characterization. The end scared me (read it, you’ll see what I mean). Overall, it was an amazing book, and I highly recommend it.