"They built it out of stone--dark gray stone, pried loose from the unforgiving mountains. It was a house for those who could not take care of themselves, for those who heard voices, who had strange thoughts and did strange things. The house was meant to keep them in. Once they came, they never left."
Title: Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Length: 310 pages
The Peril: Dan, Abby and Jordan are attending a summer program for gifted students, but Brookline, the dorm where they are staying, used to be an insane asylum. And Brookline holds some very dark secrets (especially down in the locked lower levels). Dan is the first one to start seeing things that aren't there and having nightmares; but he's not the only one haunted by Brookline's disturbing past. Then a student is found dead. Was he killed by one of them, or by something else?
My Thoughts: Bad things happening in an asylum for the criminally insane is a bit of a cliche, but can you think of a creepier setting? No wonder Dan starts to question his own sanity. Roux even got me wondering what was real and what was just hallucination. My favorite part of the book, though, has to be the illustrations--unsettling black-and-white photographs of patients and rooms, some of which came from actual asylums. Talk about eerie. I did wish Roux had spent a little more time developing the mystery, especially the asylum's back story, but overall I enjoyed this book. It's suspenseful and scary and fun. (And a great second read for this year's R.I.P. challenge.