by Laird Barron
In some ways, The Croning is a love story (albeit a twisted, horrific one), but I don't think Barron quite stuck the landing. He establishes a strong sexual connection between Don and Michelle, but I don't see a lot of depth beyond that. Plus, she's been lying to him and manipulating him for decades - that he would consider the moral sacrifice he's confronted with late in the novel didn't ring true to me.
Barron is a master of conveying that something incredibly creepy is going on on the outskirts of our world, and I was intrigued and weirded-out through the novel. The tie-in with the classic fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin is a nice touch.