Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.
When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.
Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night out in the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.
Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something horrible waiting for them? Something unspeakably evil.
Aidan and Jess' move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.
First the good..
This was a creative and creepy tale with a decent back story that tells the legend of this cursed village. Personally I love stories about creepy little towns with strange inhabitants who are all in on a secret that leaves the newcomers in peril.
This picturesque town of Clervaux delivers that along with a demonic being who will take revenge on anyone who kills a cat. The main characters are Aidan, a controlling, selfish, yet weak willed veterinarian who expects his wife to just go along with every whim he has, and Jess the put upon wife who can't be bothered to stand up for herself..
The not so good..
The characters behavior sometimes came across as unnatural. There were some strange choices that defy the logic of what someone would do in certain situations. Some things just lacked a natural flow and resolution, like angry villagers chasing you with murderous intent but then you get home and..nothing. I guess they gave up and went home. It didn't really say.There were also some strange bits of narrative, for example "He plucked a strand of hair from behind her face and put it tenderly behind her ear."
All in all not a bad story, and some very creative ideas.
3 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy for review.