2016: The Little Men (Megan Abbott)

The Little Men Book Cover The Little Men
Megan Abbott
Mystery
Open Road
September 15, 2015
Kindle
45

In 1953, Penny is just another washed-up, wannabe Hollywood actress who is past her prime. She has settled in to a quiet lifestyle, and when she finds a low-rent bungalow in Canyon Arms, it’s a dream come true; Penny takes to the place instantly. But the dream cottage with its French doors and tiled courtyard may not be as perfect as it seems. Penny’s new neighbors start filling her head with stories about past tenants, whispering voices, and a suicide that may not have been a suicide at all. Soon enough, Penny starts hearing strange noises and she can’t help but wonder about the true fate of the bookseller who died in her home a dozen years earlier. Her suspicions are only fueled by the ominous inscription that she discovers in a book that’s closely guarded by her landlord. . . .

This is just a short story, but it was satisfying! I really enjoyed the old Hollywood setting (I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts about this Hollywood era), and could perfectly picture the Canyon Arms in my head. Abbott keeps you guessing, even at the end. Is Penny a reliable narrator? Is she crazy? Is it gas? Is it ghosts? Is the landlady messing with her? What about those guys next door? Abbott takes you on a brief but wild ride through this time in Penny’s life. This was easily read on a weekend morning, and was well worth the time.

Other reviews:

  • “Yes for fans of short stories, yes for fans of thrillers, yes for fans of noir, and yes for anyone looking for an excellent and fast story to completely suck them in for a short period of time.”Book Hooked Blog
  • “My only downside to this story was that it wasn’t longer.”My Novelesque Life
  • “Like all of Abbott’s stuff, the pace was perfect, the writing flowed, the ending unexpected – I just wanted more.”52 Book Minimum

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