Do I Bother You at Night is one of those novels with a slow burn, and given the fact that it’s set in a small town in the middle of nowhere (you know the kind I’m talking about) that slow burn feels very appropriate.
It’s listed under horror so you know, that at some point, scary stuff is going to start happening. However, the best part about this book is that you don’t know WHEN it’s going to start happening. That does serve to put one on edge, because it starts off small, and it’s not right off the bat. The novel is so full of amazing imagery that the reader has no question as to what’s going on, and it’s not the kind of imagery that gets old or boring. Ratliff finds ways to describe things with a talent that I don’t think I’ve seen in another author.
Ratliff manages to create a very dynamic main character in Sylvester, a man trying to get back to living after losing the love of his life. He’s struggling. When his new neighbor moves into town, he struggles even more. Where Sylvester was clinging to the precipice of sanity before, he loses his grip and embraces the madness that his life becomes. He’s presented in a way that makes the reader feel immediate empathy, and his character development as the story progresses is beautiful.
However, once I got into the real meat of the story, it simply became creepy and not very horrific. There is a twist that you really, really don’t see coming that is executed brilliantly, but is reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan and Stephen King. It’s done well, but I think it moves the entire story out of the ‘horror’ category.
Buy it here!