Profile K – Helen Fields

From start to finish this book was gripping. I couldn’t wait to find out exactly what was happening, and though the subject was pretty terrifying I was fascinated. If this is typical of Helen Fields’ writing, then I think it’s about time to do some catch-up reading.

Our main character is Midnight Jones, a data analyst for Necto. The company is highly regarded, and has high expectations of their employees. When Midnight comes across some data anomalies, she looks further to find out what might be behind the problem. What she discovers is that the psychometric testing used by the company appears to have been pushed beyond its boundaries by a recent test case, known only as Profile K.

Nobody seems to take her concerns seriously. Yet not long after she comes up against some rather heavy stone-walking there’s a major company reshuffle and Midnight is promoted. She becomes increasingly fearful of the implications of her private questions…even more so when the body of a young woman is discovered, with similarities remarkably like that if the footage shown to her anonymous test case.

Without revealing any more of the plot, this is a story that operates on so many levels. The thriller element was absorbing, and the flashes we get into the head of the killer are truly sinister. Watching Midnight piece things together and coming to see the implications of her discoveries was compelling. And Doris…what a character!

Huge thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this before publication. Now, off to try and source some other books by Helen Fields…

‘How to Sell a Haunted House’ – Grady Hendrix

How to Sell a Haunted house takes us on a journey that forces us to confront our fears. While there is an emphasis on horror – with some scenes horribly visual – I felt the primary focus of this book was to examine grief and how we deal with it.
Louise is called to her parents’ home when they are both killed. Forced to interact with her brother, Mark, we quickly see that this family has been used to keeping secrets. Though neither wants to admit it, they need each other if they are to be in with a chance of selling the house.

When Louise returns to her childhood home she has to confront her fear of her mother’s puppets. Taking up every spare space these puppets remind her of all the elements of their relationship that she disliked. There is one puppet however that needs to be dealt with if they are ever going to free themselves of the things hanging on. This puppet seems vengeful and determined to punish them. The question is, can they survive the experience?

How to Sell a Haunted House was not a book I could say I enjoyed reading. The puppet element unsettled me, and the sad history of the family made it very clear that so much of the horror they faced was of their own making. Whether you are terrified by the graphic events as they fight this spirit will be decided by the extent to which you believe the concept is feasible. Regardless, you cannot help but be affected by the way this family are touched by grief.