Bestselling author John Darnielle’s most bizarre novel to date, Devil House (11.5 hours), is an odd amalgam of crime fiction, buried memories and investigative journalism. As the audiobook’s narrator, Darnielle performs the story in a steady voice, combining the otherwise disjointed series of events into a cohesive, fascinating whole.
Assuming the voice of true crime writer Gage Chandler, Darnielle describes a 1980s cold case involving a pair of satanic murders that occurred at a decrepit house in Milpitas, California. While researching the crime for his next book, Gage has moved into the house as part of a thinly disguised publicity stunt to bolster sales. But the deeper he delves into the house’s illustrious and mysterious history, the more its story takes on a life of its own, affecting Gage, and by turns the listener, in unique ways.
Shirking a linear structure, the novel slowly weaves from past to present and from character to character before coming together at the end. A singer-songwriter for the Mountain Goats, Darnielle brings a lyrical, literary tone to a novel that’s part true crime, part horror and wholly original.