I did not enjoy this book. The monsters in it were too real.
I prefer stories where the monsters are imaginary creatures: Ogres, Dementors, Ring Wraths, Demons, and other non-existent beings that you wouldn’t have to worry about bumping into on the bus or working beside at your place of employment. There is some comfort in knowing that the things that happened in a scary book could not possibly happen in real life.
In The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum gives us a story about a sociopath that starts out appearing to be as safe and stable as anyone else. Ruth might even be described as “the cool mom”. She drives her sons and their friend to the carnival and frequently offers the boys beers. Readers watch her become less human as she gives in to her worst tendencies.