The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig


The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, Laird Koenig, 1974

My favorite quote: “The night, a living presence, was in constant motion, shifting itself, sighing, breathing. She wondered if perhaps it, too, was trying to get warm.”

Notable characters: Rynn Jacobs, the young protagonist; Mrs. Hallett, the too-inquisitive landlady; Frank Hallet, her son, the child molestor; Ron Migliotori, the cop; Mario, Rynn’s love interest; Leslie Jacobs, the absent father

Most memorable scene: Sitting down for almond cookies and a cup of tea

Greatest strengths: This book has great autumn ambience making it a perfect Halloween read 

Standout achievements: Its nerve. This was written at a time when publishers were churning out horror paperbacks by the hundreds. What sets this one apart is that, unlike so many of its contemporaries, it has no supernatural elements, making it — in my opinion — a very daring little novel

Fun Facts: Rynn was voted the 20th most evil child in literature by Abebooks readers in 2015

Other media: The 1976 film of the same name, starring Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen

What it taught me: That vintage horror is my “comfort” read

How it inspired me: The “evil child” trope is one that I haven’t explored much in my own work (though Tamara Thorne and I have discussed it quite a lot) and every time I read this book, I’m reminded why I want to do it one day

Additional thoughts: This is one of a small handful of books I read every October for Halloween

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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