Devil House by John Darnielle


From New York Times bestselling author and Mountain Goats singer/songwriter John Darnielle comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success – and a movie adaptation – to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for his big break- to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell – his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected – back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

‘Quietly, as if stealing in on cat’s paws, John Darnielle has become, as a novelist, unignorable … His third novel, Devil House, is terrific- confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense … It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.’
-Dwight Garner, The New York Times

‘ R iveting … Darnielle flays the conventions of true crime to reveal the macabre and ordinary brutality behind sensationalised stories of violence … This masterwork of suspense is as careful with its sharp takes as it is with the bread crumbs it slowly drops on the way to its stunning end. It operates perfectly on many levels, resulting in a must-read for true crime addicts and experimental fiction fans alike.’
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘Like his best songs, John Darnielle’s startling and tender new novel radiates out in all directions from the bomb blast of teenagehood. It is a novel about the things we want to believe- about conspiracies and rumours and states of wonder, about monsters of convenience and dreams of escape. It turns to face the horror with disarming kindness, and it implicates us all.’
-Miles Allinson, author of In Moonland