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The Siren and the Specter

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2018)
When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow. And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House.

295 pages, Hardcover

First published September 6, 2018

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About the author

Jonathan Janz

42 books1,677 followers
Jonathan Janz is a novelist, screenwriter, and film teacher. He’s represented for film and television by Ryan Lewis (executive producer of Bird Box). His work has been championed by authors like Josh Malerman, Caroline Kepnes, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novels Children of the Dark and The Dark Game were chosen by Booklist and Library Journal as Top Ten Horror Books of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage....), and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 334 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
August 15, 2020
I’ve loved the horror genre for a very long time, and one constant in that love has been my relentless affection for haunted house stories. More than any other horror theme in the industry, I think, I am a sucker for a spooky, old farmhouse with bumps in the night, ghosts in the attic, and handprints on the window panes. I was immediately intrigued when I first came across the synopsis for this book, and I am pleased to report that it did not disappoint in any way.

Most dwellings are as ephemeral as their inhabitants. Most homes are as characterless as a harvested cornfield, with its mud and discard stalks.
But not the Alexander house.

Right off the bat, Janz’s writing is spectacular at setting the mood; I was only a couple of chapters in when I told a friend that I already knew I was going to love this book, because “something about his writing just unsettles me,” and wow, did I hit that one on the nose early. The atmosphere is fantastic from start to finish, and I constantly felt like I was right there in the Alexander house with David. Luckily, the scenery isn’t the only thing Janz immerses you in—there’s legitimate terror between these pages, and I adored every damn second of it.

This would be a good time to tell you that I do not rattle easily when it comes to horror books or films. I’ve been a lover of the genre since I was five years old, and at this point, it’s just not common for stories to get under my skin. That said, there’s a scene in this book that I was reading alone at night, while everyone else was sleeping, and I literally put the book down in the middle of the chapter and went to bed. I know horror is subjective, and maybe Janz’s descriptions just push my buttons just right, but I can’t remember the last time I noped out of a book like that.

“Homes have personalities, don’t they? Some are sullen, some are cheerful. This one—” he nodded, “—is less predictable.”

Of course, the book isn’t all spooky scenes, but it never drags in the moments in between. I found myself genuinely invested in the mystery surrounding the region, including the bizarro sex fiend neighbors, the hilariously snarky and no-nonsense sheriff Harkless, and the lovely woman whose motives don’t quite add up.

I rooted for David despite the fact that he’s definitely an “unlikable narrator”—he’s pretentious and skeptical, but it works so well for this story; as a horror fan, you’re left to sit on the sidelines and watch him slowly come to terms with what is happening, and there’s almost a sick sort of satisfaction in the moment he begins to truly realize he can’t explain everything away with science and logic. Despite the shortcomings that led to his former love’s suicide, I even caught myself feeling a bit defensive over him when the people of the town tried to accuse him of things.

How ironic would it be, he mused, if David were to go missing and the only record of his stay here was a breathless recording of his weird experience upstairs? He would become an even truer successor to John Weir: another skeptic claimed by the spirits he was attempting to debunk.

There’s not much else I can say about this story without drifting into spoiler territory, so I’ll leave it at this: Jonathan Janz is a fantastic writer who deserves to go far, and I cannot wait for my next opportunity to be terrified by his deliciously twisted storytelling.

Content warnings for suicide, sexual assault, ableism, and child abuse (all addressed/challenged within the text).

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Flame Tree Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for Char .
1,615 reviews1,467 followers
August 30, 2018

Alexander House is the most haunted house in the state of Virginia. David Caine is perhaps the most well known debunk-er in the United States and as such, he is called in to stay at the house and write a book about it. The current owners are hoping that David will be persuaded into believing that the haunting is real, and that the resulting book about the matter will draw visitors/tourism to the home. Is David finally persuaded that ghosts and hauntings do exist? You'll have to read this to find out!

My brief synopsis above doesn't do this story justice. Unfortunately, that's part of the problem I had with this book. There's a LOT going on-and to be honest? I thought it was too much. I loved the portions about the history of the house, the area where it's situated, and its former inhabitants-specifically Judson Alexander. I would have been happy with a book about him alone.

I understand that this story has several layers and I respect what Jonathan Janz tried to do. However, I think the focus of this tale became too wide, what with tons of information about David's old girlfriend, his old friend Chris and Chris' new wife Katherine, the CRAZY neighbors down the way, the local sheriff, and I haven't even mentioned the siren yet! I was fine with all of it through about 2/3 of the novel, but by the last third it just got too busy for me. Yes, there were thrills aplenty and lots of surprises, but I felt like the denouement went on a bit too long, and tried to cover too much material.

The writing itself though, was excellent, as I've come to expect from Mr. Janz. He created a tense and dense atmosphere-at times I felt I would surely suffocate from it. I also felt the characters were mostly realistic and while David Caine wasn't perfect by any means, I did come to care for him and I wanted him to pull through. This tale was imaginative and to restate, my only problem was that I wished it had been more focused.

I seem to be almost the only one who isn't all-out raving about this story, so it's definitely possible that I read it wrong. Even with my complaint, I still enjoyed the heck out of THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER. You probably will too. Jonathan Janz is always worthy of your consideration and if you decide to give this one a go, feel free to come and share your thoughts with me when you're done. You can tell me how wrong I am!


*I received an e-ARC of this book from FLAME TREE PRESS via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 23 books3,928 followers
January 13, 2019
Originally printed in the NOV/DEC 2018 issue of SCREAM MAG

Do you ever read such an amazing book, you’ve wondered why you only just discovered the author ‘now’? That happened twice for me this year. In January with Robert McCammon and then later this year with Jonathan Janz. Interestingly enough, both authors write in the same, compelling, character-driven storytelling style.
In the book world, specifically the horror genre, people have been celebrating the work of Jonathan Janz for awhile--I just wasn’t aware of it until 2018. I didn’t even know about his books until one day, I saw the cover for the novel, Children of the Dark and knew I needed it. I got copies for my horror reading & review group, The Night Worms. We all loved that book and as a result, I became an instant Janz fan. I needed more. I read Exorcist Falls next and it’s probably one of the darkest horror novels I’ve read. Between the coming-of-age narrative of Children of the Dark and the relentless, soul-crushing evil of Exorcist Falls, I got a very well rounded taste of Janz’s versatility within the genre in just two books.
This newest book, The Siren and the Specter rests in the sweet spot of horror. It expertly blends together a few sub-genres within the horror umbrella.
As the title suggests, there are two entities in this tale, the Siren which represents the author’s incredible ability to develop dimensional characters the reader can invest in, emotionally. Our protagonist, David Caine, a famous critic of the paranormal, is invited to stay at a legendary haunted house called, The Alexander House. Before he even steps into the house, it’s clear that Caine is already haunted by tragedy. Immediately, I formed a connection to David Caine which always generates risk and I love that--it really ups the ante when the horror arrives on the scene.
The Specter represents Jonathan’s other wheelhouse: The brutal, violent and depraved side of horror that fans show up for--the teeth of the story. This book is the perfect example that Janz understands his fanbase. As the horror book industry grows in popularity, the stereotypes are going to be put to death. There’s this weird assumption that the majority of people who read scary books are males who just want blood, guts, sex and gore.
The reality is that horror has earned its way on the list of best selling genres in the last few years and it’s already well known that women make up the highest percentage of fiction readers in the US. So with that in mind-it’s a fact that women are reading and LOVING horror.
Speaking for myself, I can tell you that Jonathan Janz’s storytelling hits on everything I’m looking for in a favorite horror read. I want to be impressed by the writing and Janz makes me feel at home with his accessible, fluid narrative. I want the story to engage me and surprise me--horror is full of familiar plot tropes but Janz always brings something original to the table. The story must deliver-I read horror to be scared, to feel my heart race and to get that thrill, if a book presents itself as a horror story but it lacks teeth when it bites, what’s the point? This book checks all the boxes. It’s everything fans want which proves that Janz is writing in full stride at this point. I’m excited to go back through the rest of his previous releases which will all be re-released through Flame Tree Press. I couldn’t be more excited about this. Trust me when I urge you to join the party, consider this review your invitation to be a fan of one of the best voices in horror for our generation. Your introduction to his work can be, The Siren and the Specter. For those of you who are already longtime fans, this book is going to be a new favorite! 5 out of 5 skulls. Sadie Hartmann/Mother Horror
Profile Image for Michelle .
241 reviews72 followers
July 17, 2022
I liked this book but I really wanted to love it.

The Siren and The Spectre had a great premise. David, a sceptic writer agrees to stay at The Alexander house (a supposedly haunted house recently purchased by his friend) at the request to write a book. During his time there he encounters multiple locals in the surrounding town and dark entities inside the house.

David has a distinctive airs of Mike Enslin from 1408 (more from the movie instead of the book), but David is ultimately unlikeable and one-dimensioned. In fact, all the characters came off as flat caricatures. All the men, except for David of course, possessed a streak of weakness while all the women were mean or needy... or both.

I enjoyed the supernatural aspects of the book, but they were too few and far between a myriad of other storylines... Old girlfriend, old friends, new friends, friend's overbearing wife, sex fiend neighbours, neighbour's children.... and on and on.

I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if it focused more on ghosts and scares instead constantly putting the main character in situations to show how handsome or aloof or heroic he could be.

All in all, 3 stars. Could have been better, could have been worse.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,201 reviews34.9k followers
January 23, 2019
David Crane, an author and skeptic of the supernatural, has been invited by an old friend to spend a month in the Alexander House. A famous "haunted" house that he and his wife recently purchased. The house has a dark and sinister history and David has been hired to determine if the house is in fact haunted and at the same time, he is going to write a book about his experiences there.

David doesn't believe in haunted houses. He has made his career debunking them. He believes the month in the house will be easy but after the first night, he begins to suspect that possibly, just possibly the month will not go as smoothly as he planned. The book brings up memories of his past, memories of a girlfriend who committed suicide and who feels may have followed him to the Alexander House.

This is a haunted house story with a sick twist. While at the house, David gets to meet some of the neighbors and one pair are quite the couple. There are depictions of sex and sexual situations so this may not be for everyone. This book brings on the creep and gore factor.

I found it to be entertaining and sickly enjoyable. This book wont be for everyone but if you enjoy haunted houses and things that go bump in the night…this may be for you!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,677 reviews2 followers
September 6, 2018
THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER, by Jonathan Janz, is one of his most complex and "layered" novels to date. In any book, your focus is on either the supernatural OR the human element during certain points. However, in this one, Janz has blended these two components together so well that they are nearly inseparable from each other.

"You can't reason away the unreasonable . . ."

We begin with David Caine, a man known for his books ultimately debunking believed supernatural phenomenon. His old college friend, Chris Gardiner, along with his overly intrusive wife, Katherine Mayr, have purchased The Alexander House: possibly "the oldest haunted house in America" . Katherine is quite adamant that David will write a book that goes against his natural predisposition and admit that this house is haunted; thereby, giving her idea of hosting a 'haunted attraction' quite a large boost in credence.

Chris' motives are not quite as clear.

". . . I don't presume to know the truth about the Alexander House. The fact of the matter is that no one knows the truth."

David's character is as detailed as they get. Mentally haunted by an incident in his past where he pushed away a woman he loved, he is literally full of contradictions and conflicts in both his mental thoughts and physical actions. Janz could not have created a better, more "perfect" character for this role if he tried. This is a man you can't help but feel for, whether you like or dislike his motions. He is simply too real, too human, to look at as mere words on a page. He quickly becomes an actual person to the readers, flaws and all. (Perhaps more because of his flaws . . .)

". . . there comes a point when disbelief turns into stupidity . . ."

The legends state that a huge, sadistic man--Judson Alexander--was given that out of the way house to indulge in his acts of depravity away from the town.

". . . They gave him this territory to limit what he could do . . . "

Even though the man himself has been dead for centuries, this doesn't stop Janz from creating an atmosphere--both in the Alexander house, itself, and the surrounding area--even more menacing and fear-provoking than before. Every small detail, from the layout of the rooms to the lifestyles and emotions of the two homes closest in proximity, add to this distinctive unease. A sense of almost palpable dread transfers itself from off the pages directly into the reader's mind. I can honestly say that I caught myself either shivering or gaping open-mouthed at many points during the course of this novel, so real were the feelings it evoked within me.

". . . Homes have personalities . . . some are sullen, some are cheerful. This one-- . . . --is less predictable . . . "

"It's like it was . . . hiding from me . . . even walked the property in all directions . . . And I never saw the Alexander House."

As the book progresses we begin to glimpse the depths at which this superstitious legacy has touched all in its vicinity. Without giving away any spoilers, I can safely say that few--if any--readers would be able to even guess as to the lengths Janz goes with these individuals and locations. You'll not find any two the same--ALL original and some . . . damaged . . . in various ways. Despite the number of divergent threads, I never once felt "lost" or confused. I merely couldn't stop turning page after page to read the next episode about to unfold.

". . . Saying words that end up being true . . . is not the same as being honest."

From the centuries old Alexander House, the mysterious Rappahannock River, small Oxrun Park, and neighboring homes, there is a distinctive feel to this novel that if ever there was a place for the "impossible" to become the "everyday", this was it.

". . . You believe certain things your whole life. Those beliefs, they dig grooves into your brain, like a record player, and the needle doesn't leave the grooves. For many years you don't see anything . . . to knock the needle out of place . . . "

Overall, one of the best novels I've ever read that infuses the supernatural so seamlessly with human nature--and I don't necessarily mean the "best" of what humans have to give. Janz didn't just rely on either one element or the other in THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER (which would have been fairly predictable to some), but rather brought the combination to an entirely new level. Throughout "most" novels, I am able to predict some parts long before the ending. However, due to the powerful blending of details here, the few "suspicions" I had missed the mark completely. Despite the literary complexity of this story, Janz' skill made it easy to follow along for the entire duration. The only real complaint I had was when it ended.

I still wanted more.

"That place is deceased . . . "

Highest recommendation!

Profile Image for Marie.
900 reviews222 followers
June 23, 2020
This was a very haunting read and I was just swept away into the atmospheric setting of the Alexander House.

A little backstory for you readers:

David Caine, a renowned debunker of paranormal activity, is invited to come to the Alexander House on the request of his friend, Chris. The Alexander House has laid claims to being the most haunted house in Virginia. David decides that he will stay in the house for a month to see if he can capture any kind footage of a haunting.

David delves deep into the history of the house and finds that the Alexander house is named after Judson Alexander who did unspeakable things in the house. David has some past personal issues that he has to overcome as he tries to debunk what is happening around him, but as time goes on, he finds out that some houses are just down right bad.

There is an island that sits out in a lake across from the house which is also haunted. David catches a glimpse of a ghostly figure that seems to float on the lake. David decides to investigate the island to check out what is really going on out there and what he finds turns his world completely upside down.

There are other characters involved in the book besides David and his friend, Chris, as the neighbors that surround that area take part in the story too. All the characters in the book are very believable and the story just meshes together bringing all the characters to the Alexander House.

It was slow at first with a little world building, but once I became involved in the story it picked up the pace and the last half of the book I was staying up late nights wanting to see how it all ended! Five stars for this one.
Profile Image for Ivy H.
855 reviews
August 26, 2019
4.25 stars.

“Homes have personalities, don’t they? Some are sullen, some are cheerful. This one—” he nodded, “—is less predictable. There’ll be days when you feel like she’s your best friend, like she’s smiling at you and wishing she could give you the world. But then she’ll turn brooding. Enigmatic.”

This quote refers to a majestic 18th century mansion, called Alexander House, that serves as a secondary protagonist in this novel.

Set against the backdrop of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, this is more than a mere haunted house tale. Alexander House, the haunted clapboard mansion, dwells at centre stage of the novel, but the author interweaves a few chilling minor storylines that blend seamlessly into a seemingly unconnected narrative.

David Caine, the protagonist, is a college professor, writer and unconventional ghost "hunter", because he specializes in debunking, rather than proving, the existence of paranormal entities. He's a cynical, world weary and unhappy 40 something year old bachelor, who's guilt ridden because his college girlfriend committed suicide after he'd dumped her.

This happened more than 20 years ago, but David still blames himself. And his visit to Alexander House revives these memories, because he and Anna had vacationed at a nearby area, prior to her death. This part of the Rappahannock River region, is also home to a couple of infamous superstitious tales:

1. The legend of the vengeful Siren, the ghost of an ancient Native American woman.

2. The psychopathic Specter of Alexander House: Judson Alexander. He's the older son of a powerful 18th century tobacco plantation owner, who's believed to have imbued himself with occult powers in an effort to transcend his mortal existence.

When David Caine is driving towards Alexander House, in the first chapter, he also sees the apparition of Anna, floating above portions of the Rappahannock River ! He refuses to believe his eyes, however, so he's convinced himself that the apparition is just the trick of his guilty mind.

He's been hired by the new owners of Alexander House, to investigate the mansion for paranormal activity, based on an old tale that a missing skeptic, John Weir, had been claimed by the evil forces dwelling within the property.

He meets Ralph, a friendly, elderly hermit neighbour and the weird, gross and perverted sado-masochistic Shelby's, whose 2 neglected little kids are forced to live in a modern, gothic, dystopian nightmare.

The Shelby's lustful desires are fired by their daily mutual sado-masochistic abuse and by Michael Shelby's voyeuristic addiction to watching other men bang his wife. All of this happens while porn movies are played, 24/7, in the family room, while Mike Junior draws macabre chalk illustrations on the porch and 4 year old Ivy seeks escape via her colouring books.

David is spooked by this dysfunctional family and is almost convinced that everything will be fine, as long as he alienates himself from them and focuses on finishing his task at Alexander House. It's easier said than done, though, because he soon discovers that the upper floors of the mansion is home to some scary phenomena.

And, like the best spooky stories, the external landscape takes on a malevolent quality as the horror intensifies. But our hero wills himself to reject what he sees, smells and feels. For the first quarter, David Caine's pre-determined scepticism remains strong, in spite of the supernatural horror that rages around him.

Everything's worsened by the mounting terror within Alexander House and the depravity of the Shelby's, next door. Is there a link between the two ? And, are the Shelby's evil members of a twisted cult or just libidinous swingers with zero parental skills ?

Eventually, David's forced to face the truth:

There is no creature, his rational side declared. Stop being a fool and take care of these kids. Can’t you see Ivy’s scared senseless?

She and I both, he thought.

Then, infuriatingly, in the light of day, David would use logic to console himself and explain away the crazy, supernatural horror of the night before. David doesn't want to acknowledge any haunting because:

His reputation. What would happen to David’s reputation should this incident become public?


There was nothing remotely usual or logical about what was happening in the Alexander House.

But how to admit that without becoming a laughing stock?

For one thing, his writing career was predicated on not seeing things, on not hearing things go bump in the night. How clownish would he seem to his editor,

David eventually meets another neighbour, the beautiful Jessica, who turns out to be Anna's younger half sister. He's filled with even more guilt because he's attracted to her. Jessica, Ralph, Sheriff Georgia Harkless and the Templetons soon become allies ( of sorts ) in David's quest for answers.

I won't provide further details because spoilers ruin the effect of a horror story, but I will say that things are complicated by:

1. Occult activity.

2. The kidnapping and mind control of the little girl, Ivy.

3. The criminal actions of the Shelby's and the creepy septuagenarian Mayor, who reminded me of the villain from the Poltergeist film franchise.

4. The murders of a couple of likable minor characters.

5. The mystery storyline about Anna's death: did she really commit suicide or was she murdered ?

I would've rated this with a full 5 stars, but there was a little plot hole, at the end, that bothered me. Sheriff Harkless made it appear that the rest of the law enforcement community would just easily accept her and David's amended story about the murders.

Their amended explanation, after the villains and the specter had been killed, was devised to protect the little girl, Ivy. The child had committed a horrible crime while under supernatural control. David and the sheriff wanted to spare her and her brother from any further complications.

My issue: forensics/crime scene investigation would prove that the sheriff's cover up story was wrong. It'll be obvious that human teeth ( Honey Shelby's teeth ) didn't leave DNA evidence on David. Plus, blood spatter analysis of the crime scene, wouldn't sync up with the amended story ! And finally, a medical examiner's autopsy of Mr. Templeton would provide DNA evidence that implicated little Ivy in his death.

Other than that, this was an amazing and very scary reading experience ! The vicious specter, Judson Alexander, was one mean and truly evil villain. And readers who look forward to a relatively happy ending, would be relieved to hear that:

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mindi.
797 reviews264 followers
August 28, 2018
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After 3 books, it's official. I will automatically read every book that Janz publishes. He is the real deal. I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "he's been the real deal", but I didn't discover his work until this year, and I missed out on all those titles published by Samhain. But alas! All of those titles are going to be released again by Flame Tree Press, and I'm so excited for them. Not to mention whatever new work Janz has coming up. I'm a fan, and I can't wait for more.

This book! I say that a lot in reviews. But I like to think of my reviews as a conversation with other readers, and if you were sitting across from me at a coffee shop and we were talking about books I would say, OMGosh! This book! And then I would go on for 30 minutes about how much I loved it.

I think I've mentioned in previous reviews that haunted house stories are some of my favorite horror. The Siren and the Specter is literally bursting at the seams with everything I love about horror. And let me say now, I read this book in less than 24 hours. I never do that. Usually I have things going on during the day, so I do most of my reading at night. I started this one Monday night, and pretty much did nothing but read it all day yesterday. I was immediately hooked. I was also a little bit creeped out! That rarely happens as well. The last book that gave me some serious chills was also a haunted house story, so there's clearly a reason why I love them so much. But I digress. I do that when I get excited. And I'm so excited about sharing my love of this book!

David Caine is a writer and a skeptic. He writes books that debunk famous haunted places, but at the request of an old friend he agrees to spend a month in "the most haunted house in Virginia". Alexander House was built in the 1700s and is basically another character in the novel. It's grand and imposing, but Caine isn't worried. He feels confident that staying at the house will be uneventful and give him an opportunity to write his next book. But the very first day that he arrives David already feels compelled to avoid the second floor. And when he finally does explore the upper level of the house, some seriously intense things happen.

The first week of his stay David also meets his neighbors. Those neighbors are all important to the story, but I'll let you discover them on your own. Some of them are definitely more troubled than others. Or just downright cringeworthy. All of them are well fleshed out though, and add to David's eventful stay at Alexander House. For the first time in his life David is in a paranormal situation that asks him to question his skepticism, and the things he sees and experiences in the house are impossible to ignore or explain away. By the end of the book, everything that David believes will be tested.

The Siren and the Specter will be released on September 6th, and I absolutely recommend buying it. This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
719 reviews206 followers
September 27, 2018
It has been a while since I struggled this much with writing a review. I thought about leaving a rating and calling it good, but I am a tiny bit obsessive compulsive — I feel I must write reviews for everything I read.

First off, this hardcover is absolutely gorgeous. Flame Tree Press is doing amazing work. This sucker looks like it could have been published by S&S, or Knopf.

As for the story . . . oh, what a mixed bag. And that hurts to say, because I was hooked for the first seventy pages, or so. But too many elements got introduced, the web became too tangled, and I stopped caring. What promises to be a good old haunted house story turns into a romance, with a small girl at the center a’la Bag of Bones. I stuck with it till the end, though, hoping everything would get resolved . . . and I guess everything did, but the narrative just felt too busy. At under 300 pages, this book is a huge slow burn with a hella rushed ending.

The main character, David, is a skeptical nonfiction writer of the supernatural (yes, I’ve read “1408” too) and he’s come to stay at the Alexander House — the first house that, as promised in the synopsis, has any sort of effect on him. The problem with this is David is a bit of a narcissist, sort of an idiot too . . . and the house itself has no presence. I couldn’t even picture it in my mind. The Long Bedroom? That’s the room where most of the scary stuff happens, but I found myself starting to skim.

This is a horror novel that did not horrify me . . . or scare me at all, really. Hence the two stars. A lack of sympathetic characters and a convoluted plot made for a disappointing read all around.
Profile Image for Carol.
2,325 reviews71 followers
June 26, 2022
A smorgasbord for The Ghost Story Junkie, and this one rang with the possibility of being built on some truth. It's got all the stuff any ghost story/horror reader could possibly want, ghosts, monsters, murder, mystery, a creepy old house that become creepier by the page...and best of all, it gave me goosebumps and chills, and that is something that few ghost stories can do anymore. I didn't especially like any of the characters but the house and its atmosphere more than made up for any of their shortcomings. The story and Alexander House was born in the imagination of Jonathan Janz's by a stay “in a historical home in Virginia” as he explains in an author Q&A at the end of the book. It's well worth taking the time to read about how the book came alive for him. As a result, Janz has come up with an outstanding and unique plot that is filled with sensual detail as well as suspense and scares enough to keep any ghost story enthusiast happy. The reader will also find that The Siren and the Specter contains several gruesome discoveries and events that will diffidently get and keep your attention. You might also want to consider leaving the lights on and keeping the doors locked...as if it will really do you any good.
Profile Image for Michael Hicks.
Author 35 books430 followers
July 24, 2018
I've been anticipating the launch of Flame Tree Press for a good while now, not least of which because it meant brand new books from Jonathan Janz and Hunter Shea. Both authors launched their careers at the now-ancient history Samhain Publishing, and while both have found publishers elsewhere since that publisher's collapse in 2016, it feels good to have them reunited beneath a common imprint and the guiding hand of editor Don D'Auria. I've been waiting for a new Janz novel ever since finishing Exorcist Falls early last year, so turning toward The Siren and The Specter as my inaugural read of Flame Tree Press was a no-brainer.

As expected, Janz delivers a fun, gruesome, and highly compelling read that happily kept me up past my bed-time on a few occasions because I absolutely had to know what would happen next. This is a good and true "just one more chapter!" kind of read.

Noted skeptic and supernatural debunker David Caine is invited by an old college buddy to stay for a time in the Alexander House, the most haunted house in all of Virginia. Built in the 1700s, its owner, Judson Alexander, was the worst sort of man, one who held the village around the Rappahannock River in an iron fist, raping and killing at a whim. His house was a source of bloodshed and torture for a number of those villagers, the land tainted forever. David rightfully expects the urban legends surrounding the Alexander House to be rubbish, but even he can't deny the quiet ache of his own personal losses that being back by the Rappahannock causes. As events unfold, David's skepticism is put to the test and soon enough the Rappahannock will run red with blood.

The Siren and The Specter has a lot going for it. As the title indicates, you get not one, but two - two! - supernatural entities to torment our lead protagonist. You also get a fair amount of carnage, a host of depraved sex acts, and a number of ghostly encounters that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. One of the best parts, though, was the sense of history Janz imbues the Alexander House and its surrounding region with, a history that is deeply personal to David and the peninsula where this book is set. The country is young, but the land is old, and the pre-colonial mythology surrounding the titular siren was a welcome counterpoint to the horrors inflicted by Alexander upon his neighbors. What struck me most, though, was the historical interplay between the siren and the specter themselves. Although these are two distinct entities in the mythology of the Rappahannock, both are fueled at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of both their gender and their bloodlust, one a victim and the other a victimizer. Janz slowly reveals the stories of each in highly compelling ways, using the dual spirits to illustrate mankind's proclivity toward wrath, cruelty, and the possession of others.

I'll confess that on first blush, I wasn't entirely sold on the siren's involvement in terms of this book's plot. Initially, it felt like a bit of unnecessary overreach, even a minor element that could have been cut without any detriment to the work. After some consideration, though, I find myself appreciating the thematic importance of the siren more and more, and the things she represents for David as he is forced to reconsider his skepticism toward the supernatural. There's a strong sense of duality at play in this book, and as a figure herself the siren is emblematic of several things in terms of both plot and character. The Siren and the Specter is very firmly rooted in the Gothic tradition, which demands readers to use their imagination, suspend their disbelief, and accept that there are more mysteries in this world than we can possibly understand. Judson Alexander is the most in-your-face mystery that both David and the reader must confront, but Janz asks us to accept just a little bit more than that as we carry along, challenging us to confront our own skepticism alongside David and accept some additional horrors and wonders beyond Alexander. Both are integral to David and his personal evolution during his stay on the peninsula. And after all, if we can accept the specter, why not the siren?

While there are plenty of Gothic traditions on display here - the fallen hero, death and romance, loss and terror, an emphasis on sexuality, dashes of political violence, an atmosphere of dread, a focus on the architecture of the Alexander House - in the end, it's this broadening of imagination that proves most fascinating and compelling. In fact, there's a lot about The Siren and The Specter that fascinates, from the character dynamics and their relationships to Alexander, the perversions of the Shelby family, David's struggles to be a better man and the appreciable easiness of those around him to call him out on his foolishness, and, of course, Janz's flair for violence. Janz is not the type of author who gets squeamish writing about blood and guts, and he clearly enjoys splashing around in gore with all the delight of a mad sadist. This is a big win for horror fans, and even when you know certain macabre acts are just a page away, he still manages to pull off a few surprises in each of the big reveals.

It's clear why Flame Tree Press chose The Siren and The Specter as one of their launch titles, and it's a delicious springboard into this new imprint. I suspect this book will also (rightfully) earn Janz a legion of new and devoted readers, readers who will enjoy sinking their teeth into the author's considerable back-list, which will be republished by Flame Tree Press over the remainder of 2018 and well into 2019. Introducing an imprint, and even to a certain degree reintroducing an already established author, with a work of Gothic horror like The Siren and The Specter is a smart move, and one that instills a lot of confidence in this new brand. Get ready to expand your imagination.

[Note: I received an advance reader copy of The Siren and The Specter from Flame Tree Press.]
Profile Image for Shainlock .
720 reviews
Shelved as 'to-the-left'
September 12, 2018
DNF 28% ... It’s not good when the MC is swearing around children one minute, then telling them not to swear the next. Then going back to swearing and using way too many expletives that are beyond the norm.
Then there is this one house, I’m not sure what it has to do with the story. Crazy, psycho, druggy, sex obsessed parents that keep pornos blasting with children in the house. And they enjoy hitting each other.
I can’t get through this. Take out the horribly abusive parents & the wife who leaves her husband bleeding on the couch from his butt bc of the baseball batt huge strap on and all that mess; and it could start to build into something creepy spooky. Not butt creepy nasty.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,271 reviews365 followers
October 5, 2018
The Siren and the Specter- a variety of monsters. What I thought would be a haunted house story turned out to be so much more and more horrific. There is some great creepy, scary as hell scenes in here and some of the worst humanity has put forth. The story was written very well and kept me engaged.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,859 reviews473 followers
August 18, 2018
David Caine is a well known author who debunks legendary haunted houses. After publishing nine books on the subject, he isn't too concerned about the 10th project, The Alexander House. At the request of an old college friend who owns the house, David agrees to live in it for a month. Area residents and his friend's wife think the property is really haunted, but David knows that isn't possible. He firmly believes that supernatural things do not exist. Or does he? He isn't inside the house for a single day before he starts seeing and hearing things. And it will get much, much worse before it's over.

This book gave me the heebie jeebies! Very creepy! I love haunted house stories, so I added to the suspense by reading this book while sitting on my front porch at night. Pitch dark except the light from my Ipad. Took me 3 evening reading sessions to finish....and I loved every minute of it!

Just a warning.....there are some graphic depictions of sex and some adult situations in this book. It's not for kids or teens under 16 or so. Some of the characters are despicable and completely unlikable...be prepared. For readers who like horror novels with a bit of grit and violence....this one's for you. Totally creepy....and a bit demented. Great read!

I would not spend a single night in The Alexander House. Not a single night. Nope. No way. Not only no....hell no.

Great story!

I will definitely be reading more by this author! :)

**I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Flame Tree Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,740 reviews750 followers
April 5, 2021
This is pure in your face horror and I absolutely loved it! Janz does not shy away from guts and gore and terror and it is FANTASTIC. I feel like I’m watching an old school horror flick when I’m reading his books, especially this one, I could just picture certain scenes in my head. I’m big on characters when I’m reading and this book had SO many amazing ones. The ones I loved and was cheering for and the ones that I absolutely LOVED to hate all came together to make one hell of cast. The story is damn brilliant and gave me chills on more than one occasion, this is definitely one that makes you want to sleep with the lights on! There were so many twists I didn’t see coming, it was chock full of moments to make my spine tingle and the ending was just INSANE and left me in total awe because I did NOT see that coming!
Profile Image for Jon Recluse.
381 reviews245 followers
August 16, 2018
Jonathan Janz has penned a Laymonesque haunted house tale.....no, that isn't right. What we have here is a purely Janzian ghost story, because no one writes like Jonathan Janz. At turns both bone chilling and gut wrenching, where the sins of the past return to taint the present, while leaving one guessing as to whose sins they are....and whose pasts.
An excellent addition to the subgenre, tautly written, that will leave the reader guessing.....and sleeping with the lights on.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kenneth McKinley.
Author 2 books200 followers
October 8, 2018
There's atmosphere a plenty in Jonathan Janz's latest, THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER. Creepiness and dread oozes from each subsequent page after page. David is a cynic. He has to be. It's his job. Debunking hauntings has paved the way for a decent living. Now David's college pal invites him to Virginia to write about the place he and his wife just bought, the notorious Alexander House. Chris and Katherine hand over the keys and David plans on staying in the house for a month. Their motive for having David write about the house is clear. Publicity. David is a best-selling author and they want him to write about his experience to drum up publicity as they plan to make the house a tourist attraction. David doesn't mind. He's disproved more haunted houses than he can count. In fact, he's yet to find any credible evidence to support hauntings and his skepticism has sold a ton of books. Why should the Alexander House be any different? Well, guess what? This house isn't like all the rest and it's due to Judson Alexander, the man who built the house back in the 1700s. He was one nasty S.O.B.and he's not ready to vacate the premises anytime soon.

SIREN has a lot going for it. Janz creates interesting characters and David is the one that's fleshed out the most. So much so, that his character has created some nice discussions when we read this as a group. To some, he's an egotistical shit head that deserves all the nastiness that comes his way. For others, myself included, I found that his college past seemed to lead to an unfortunate turn of events, but not one that he should be solely blamed for. Characters with this much layered depth stick with you, rattling around in your psyche, long after the story has been put back on the shelf. That's a good thing. Emotions run deep in SIREN. You have characters you feel for, some you relate to, and others that you absolutely loathe. There's a lot there. Sometimes too much. And thats the only negative that I have. Specters make up the mother load of story. Ahh...but it's called The SIREN and the Specter and I felt the siren is a little out of place in the tale. I simply think that it didn't add anything and really wasn't necessary. Others may think otherwise. Have yourself a go at it and decide for yourself.

3 1/2 Skeletons in the Closet out of 5

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Profile Image for Bill.
1,525 reviews106 followers
October 11, 2018
I have been a fan of Jonathan Janz for quite a while. The dude has talent and I have enjoyed everything that I have read from him. “The Siren and the Specter” is no exception.

I am not even going to attempt to summarize this one. There is all kinds of crazy, creepy going on here. Probably even too much.

I’m giving this one 3+ Stars. I enjoyed it. It was written very well, as I expected, but was a bit scattered the last ¼ or so (for me) and I got a bit confused with the goings-on.

As always, I look forward to see what Jonathan comes up with next. I will read whatever he puts out there. Definitely on my must-read author list.
Profile Image for Mark.
Author 2 books4 followers
February 12, 2022
This was a really entertaining haunted house book, with some interesting characters and twists to keep the pace moving right along. Janz writes in a style that is pure horror escapism... this will appeal to fans who yearn for the fun days of 80’s and 90’s style horror.
Profile Image for Jamie Stewart.
Author 10 books157 followers
September 25, 2019
Okay, this is my second novel that I've read by Jonathan Janz. I would like to say that I enjoyed this one as much as the last one, which was The Dark Game, but I didn't and that shouldn't be surprising when you consider that book to be the best horror novel I've read in years. In a world filled with work, family life, commitments and the temptation's of TV and social media all I wanted to do was find a quiet place and read it in peace. I was obsessed with the characters within it and their story, even the bad ones.

With The Siren and the Specter I wasn't as obsessed mainly because the main character is a bit of a dick. The story, which I will try to spoil as little as possible, features a writer famous for debunking haunted places taking up residents in his latest endeavour. The twist is its owned by his college friend and his wife. This is one of many twist's that are included in the novel that take the idea of a haunted house into new territory. This seems to be Jonathan Janz trait, of twisting a well known premise into some original and he does it well. The novel is atmospheric, chilling and provides genuine goosebumps. It is also a puzzle box in that all the characters have unclear motivation's that encourage further reading to discover their true intentions.

I think my reason for not appreciating this novel as much as The Dark Game is that like many haunted house stories it involves a deep look into the life of the novel's protagonist whereas The Dark Game is more like a roller coaster ride. The Siren becomes more of an in-depth study of a person's failing (what makes him a dick) before propelling him through a traumatic situation (to learn not to be a dick). That in no way means this is a bad book in anyway, it is a phenomenal, creepy thrill ride that keeps the reader guessing at best.
Profile Image for Milica.
106 reviews39 followers
May 16, 2020
It was really good, but it got a bit confusing due to various timelines. I feel like it could be just as good with two paranormal elements instead of five. Anna's ghost, Judson, leering creatures, possessed Ivy, the Siren... Too much, but it was still a 4-star read and I do recommend it to horror fans.
Profile Image for Cynnamon.
532 reviews99 followers
August 18, 2021
For English version please scroll down


Eine Geisterhaus-Geschichte der widerlichen Art

David wird von seinem Freund Chris und dessen Frau Katherine eingeladen, einen Monat in Alexander House zu verbringen. Alexander House gilt als ältestes Geisterhaus in den USA, während David dafür bekannt ist in seinen Büchern übernatürliche Mythen auf logische und wissenschaftliche Weise zu widerlegen. David ist nicht sehr begeistert von dieser Idee, lässt sich aber schließlich überreden, einen Monat im Alexander House zu wohnen und dort sein neues Buch über seine Forschungen zu schreiben.

Neben merkwürdigen Ereignissen in dem wenig heimeligen Haus und einer äußerst fragwürdigen Nachbarschaft hat David auch noch seine eigene Vergangenheit am Hals. Er hat nämlich als Teenager zusammen mit Chris und Davids damaliger Freundin Zeit genau an diesem Ort verbracht. Dass die Freundin sich bald darauf das Leben genommen hat, verfolgt ihn noch immer.

Ich kann euch leider nicht berichten, ob es nun ein Geisterhaus war oder doch nicht, da ich jetzt , genau in der Hälfte des Buches, das Handtuch werfe.

Der Grund ist, dass das Buch mich zum einen langweilt und zum anderen anwidert. Die übernatürlichen Ereignisse müssten eigentlich sehr gruslig sein, aber so wie der Autor sie beschreibt berühren sie mich einfach nicht. Bestimmte Ereignisse aus der Nachbarschaft, die eindeutig nicht übernatürlicher Natur sind, sind derartig abstoßend und scheußlich, dass an dieser Stelle für mich sehr viel mehr Horror liegt.

Der Autor schreibt auch abseits der Widerwärtigkeiten sehr viel über Sex, wobei ich hier keinen Mehrwert für die Geschichte erkennen kann.

Ich kann nicht behaupten, dass dies ein schlechtes Buch ist, weil ich das nicht belastbar belegen kann. Aber ich kann aus voller Überzeugung behaupten, dass ich das Buch überhaupt nicht gemocht habe und mir sowohl die Charaktere als auch der Fortgang der Geschichte vollkommen egal waren.

1 Stern wegen absoluten Nichtgefallens.


A haunted house story of the disgusting kind

David is invited by his friend Chris and his wife Katherine to spend a month at Alexander House. Alexander House is considered the oldest haunted house in the United States, while David is known for refuting supernatural myths in a logical and scientific way in his books. David is not very enthusiastic about this idea, but he is persuaded to stay at the Alexander House for a month and write his new book about his research there.

In addition to strange events in the uncomfortable house and an extremely questionable neighborhood, David also has his own past on his neck. As a teenager, he spent time in exactly this place with Chris and David's former girlfriend. The fact that the girlfriend took her own life soon afterwards still haunts him.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether it was a haunted house or not, since I'm throwing in the towel now, exactly in the half of the book.

The reason is that the book bores me on the one hand and disgusts me on the other. The supernatural events should be very scary, but the way the author describes them, they just don't affect me. Certain neighborhood events that are clearly not of a supernatural nature are so repulsive and hideous that there is much more horror at this point for me.

The author also writes a lot about sex apart from the adversities, although I cannot see any added value for the story here.

I cannot say that this is a bad book because I have no reliable evidence for it. But I can say with full conviction that I didn't like the book at all and that I didn't care at all about the characters or the progression of the story.

1 star because of absolute dislike.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,265 reviews331 followers
August 15, 2018

I am really torn between 3 and 4 stars for this book. I loved some parts, and didn't care for others, so my feelings are pretty mixed. From the start, The Siren & the Specter builds atmosphere very well. Jonathan Janz's writing is descriptive, and it's easy to picture the house and surrounding area. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, but it helps you to get settled into the story.

I feel like there may have been too many storylines going on. It wasn't difficult to keep track of everything, but I wish there would have been more focus. There's a haunted house, drama with the main characrer's past, info about the house's past, drama with the townspeople, a love story, etc. There was just much packed into a short book, and not everything was as fleshed out as it could have been. A lot of attention was given to relationships, and I had my hopes set on a spooky haunted house story. Unfortunately, the spooks were lacking for me in this book. There were a few good creepy scenes, but not enough to hold me over through the rest of the book.

There were some things in the book that were kind of hard to believe because some characters were written to be so over-the-top. You have to suspend your disbelief at times & just roll with it. Just know going in that there are some super graphic (and unsettling) sex scenes, and mention of sexual abuse of a child.

If you enjoyed The Winter People, this book has some similar aspects. There's an old house, some sort of haunting, and an old journal / book from a previous time. The two books are still very different, and they don't really have anything in common past that. Another book with some similar aspects is Hell House - if you enjoyed the haunted house skeptic aspect of that book, pick up this one.

I think overall, I wanted more depth for the horror parts of the book. It was very promising, and the setup of this book was amazing. The atmosphere was perfect, but I feel like the rest of the story didn't deliver. Things felt disjointed, and I was left with questions. However, this is still a good read, and there are things to enjoy within the story. Thank you so much to FlameTree for sending me an early copy to review! This one will be out on 9/6.
Profile Image for Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems.
475 reviews218 followers
October 31, 2018
DNF 61%- I just can't carry on with this one. It's not my thing, I feel super uncomfortable and the spooky house has been lost under a pile of child abuse, sexual assults, terrible representation of women (IMHO) and a main character who is either the object of a womans desire or judged as being a dangerous man who's only after one thing with no inbetween. He is sexually assulted and when he reports it to the female sheriff she assumes he is worried the woman will cry rape and he is totally ok with this. He doesn't even question her. Children are left to be neglected by their parents and everyone knows about but no one can do anything about it which is bullshit. In what world would children be allowed to stay in that house when all of the authorities know the situation, know that their ganrdfather is a child rapist but SENT THEM TO LIVE WITH HIM FOR A TIME and then when the foster family fell through, sent them back to their neglectful, abusive parents? WTF? I hated this. I really hated this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mariana.
390 reviews1,674 followers
September 12, 2018
Jonathan Janz es un autor cuyo nombre me resultaba familiar, pero a quien nunca había leído y, después de este libro, me intriga bastante leer otras de sus historias.

En "The Siren and the Specter" nos encontramos con un investigador y escritor que ha hecho su carrera desacreditando supuestos fenómenos paranormales, él es un escéptico y está convencido de que todo tiene una explicación lógica y racional. Sin embargo, como probablemente ya se imaginarán, a lo largo de esta historia se topará con varios sucesos sobrenaturales que pondrán a prueba sus convicciones.

Aunque la trama puede sonar algo estereotípica, debo de reconocer que la forma en que Janz la aborada es bastante única. En lugar de construir su historia basándose en pequeñas manifestaciones sutiles que poco a poco van ganando fuerza, desde el comienzo introduce a seres descarnados, entes malignos, apariciones seductoras y otros personajes -no necesariamente sobrentaurales- verdaderamente grotescos.

El problema con esto es que no hay creación de atmósfera. A pesar de que las descripciones de los seres que habitan esta casa embrujada son dignas de la peor pesadilla que puedan imaginar, la falta de atmósfera hace que se sientan un poco planas y forzadas. Del mismo modo, se introducen unos personajes tan exagerados y tantas subtramas al mismo tiempo, que de pronto parece que estás leyendo dos historias en lugar de una. Creo que en lugar de ser "The Siren and the Specter" debió de haberlo dividido en dos novelas una para "The Siren" y otra para "The Specter" y así probablemente evitaría que algunas partes se sintieran metidas con calzador o que no alcanzaran su verdadero potencial (en particular la parte que trata de "the siren").

Puedo perdonarle bastantes de estas cosas a Janz porque su historia me intrigó y por sus grotescas descripciones, porque en lugar de quedarse en el típico susto de pastelazo, te muestra lo que hay detrás. Tendré que leer más de sus libros para poder definir mejor el estilo de Janz y saber si es lo mío.

Nota: En este libro hay escenas y descripciones sexuales muy gráficas, así que vayan preparados.
Profile Image for Levi Walls.
137 reviews45 followers
May 20, 2019
4.5 stars. This is in my top three most disturbing reads of the year so far!

I gotta say I may be a little biased, because I LUUURVE Jonathan Janz's work. I've collected most of his back catalog of books through Samhain Publishing, and I'm as proud of that collection as I am of my Stephen King collection. All that after reading only two of his books! Now, this is my third read of his, and the Janz man is in top form. Ok, enough Stanning, on to the review.

This is the craziest, most disturbing Janz I've read yet. Don't get me wrong, all of his books are horror-filled, action-packed bombshells of Holy-shit. But this one had a human element, a societal element that I won't mention as its a spoiler, but it had me holding my breath when the rest of the book just had me on the edge of my seat.

David Caine moves into the Alexander House to dispel the notion of the supernatural and the house's "haunted" history. Throughout the story we see that most of the ghosts are the ghosts of the past that are haunting the people around the property. And some of them aren't ghosts, they're demons. You'll never want to meet the neighbors after reading this book!! David meets the neighbors, a lovely young woman, another neighbor (Duma Key fans these two are like Freemantle and Wireman 😂), and a host of other townspeople. None of the people know if they can trust the outsider, and reading this you'll never know which ones he can trust. (Other than the neighbors, you can't trust those fuckers 🤮😩) Is the house really haunted, or is it all just a ploy to make him look bad and make money?

Twists and turns and jaw-dropping Janz moments (Exorcist Falls bathroom scene, anyone?) made this another near perfect, page-turning horrific delight by one of my favorite authors!! Check out The Siren and the Spectre by the Prince of Darkness, my man Jonathan Janz today!
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,071 reviews266 followers
August 27, 2018
Review: THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER by Jonathan Janz

If you're desiring a Haunted House tale that will electrify, terrify, and provoke deeper levels of thinking, don't look away. THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER enthralls, intrigues, and frightens, even the most jaded or uninterested. While you're gleefully shaking and shivering along with the various characters, you'll also be appalled at certain other characters, pondering deeply on the nature of good and evil, and considering how it is that "good" citizens can ignore, overlook, or even collude with evil. (I give you Nazi Germany as one example, European witch hunts--including England and Scotland--as another. Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.") This novel contains so many ramifications I'm not likely to ever dislodge it from my mind.

Profile Image for Tracy Robinson.
482 reviews143 followers
September 23, 2018
Janz really knows how to spin a tale that leaves you guessing. I enjoyed this book, partly because of the haunting, partly because of the author's skill with description and dialogue. Honestly, I enjoyed the action and the villains more than the MC - I just couldn't connect all the way. I wanted more information surrounding the town's history with the Specter and the darkness that surrounds it. That being said, I highly recommend this scary, haunting tale
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