Say Her Name by James Dawson, published by Hot Key Books on 5th June 2014
Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?
Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror... five days... but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...
This is James Dawson's third book and his scariest one yet. You'll be afraid to be home alone after reading this!
The story is set at a local girls' boarding school called Pipers Hall. Bobbie, her best friend Naya and local boy Caine are all involved in a silly dare - to look in a mirror and say the name 'Bloody Mary' five times in a row. They believe nothing will happen to them if they do, until one of their friends disappears and they realise that their own fates may hang in the balance.
The book is divided into sections, each corresponding to one of the five days. Bobbie is determined to get to the bottom of things and knows that she has to discover the truth but you're left in a perpetual state of doubt about whether she will be able to do it in time. There's a clock ticking throughout the book and it keeps getting louder and louder.
Super spooky and very scary, 'Say Her Name' is part horror and part ghost story. James Dawson has really stamped his mark on this genre and is the master of making your knuckles turn white and your heart beat faster. He draws the tension and shocks out wonderfully, as you're never quite sure whether something supernatural is really going on or whether there may well be a human hand behind it all.
The climax of the book was frankly terrifying with the suspense cranked up to an all time high. I love the way that even when you think everything is over, you are suddenly, at the very last moment, still left guessing. Deliciously cruel but a brilliant twist all at the same time.