Thank you to Hayley at ED Public Relations for sending me this ARC for an honest review.
The original Psycho novel by Robert Bloch was published in 1959 and became an instant hit, leading to the smash movie only a year later, which brought Norman Bate’s terrifying story into the public consciousness, where it still remains (proven by the success of the tv series, Bates Motel). It took Bloch 23 years to write another Psycho novel, revealing that Norman had ben in a mental institution the entire time. In that sequel, Norman quickly escapes sanitarium and goes on a killing spree in Hollywood.
But what happened in that asylum during those two decades? Until now, no one has known.
It’s 1960. Norman Bates is in the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and it’s up to Dr. Felix Reed to bring him out of his catatonic state.
But Norman and Dr. Reed have obstacles in twisted fellow patients and staff members who think of the institution as a prison rather than a place of healing. And the greatest obstacle is the building itself, once a private sanitarium, rumored to be haunted. A wild card appears in the persona of Robert Newman, Norman’s twin brother, taken away at birth after the attending doctor pronounced him brain damaged. As Robert and Norman grow to know each other, Norman senses a darkness in Robert, even deeper than that which has lurked in Norman himself.
Soon, murders begin to occur and a shocking chain of events plunge us even deeper into the deranged madness inside the walls of Psycho: Sanitarium.
I remember watching the film Psycho at a friends house one night- erm big mistake I was pretty spooked by the whole thing, so when I heard there was a book continuing this story I was intrigued, and I got reading straight away.
I feel that the mood Williams sets for the book is brilliant and if we’re comparing to the movie he certainly gets the mood of unease and tension that gave me chills throughout reading this book.
As for the plot I wasn’t so impressed, and it felt like Williams held back in being creative with the disappearances of various characters, I mean the first one definitely had me on edge but the others seemed far too predictable for me which was a shame. I did think that Williams perception of Bates was absolutely spot on and in general the character building was engaging throughout, and his vulnerability bordering on danger is what gave this story its haunting edge.
When we meet Robert it seems that Norman suspects that he has some idea as to where those in the hospital are disappearing but trying to discover what and how this is happening is tipping him over the edge, but at least he has one person to look out for him- as a Mother should…
I’m getting the chills again from reading this book, and overall it was enjoyable with a good writings style. The tone was brilliantly matched to the classic story too, but my quarrel is of Williams not throwing himself in the deep end with this, but understandably it would be difficult to follow any classic such as this. I would definitely recommend this to those who wants closure to this story.