The Doll's Eye, by Marina Cohen

The Doll's Eye, by Marina Cohen, out in paperback at the end of May 2019, sets a new bar for doll creepiness!   It is not just a creepy book, but true horror, so sensitive readers should beware.

Here is the original cover of the hardback--the insects hint at horror, but it isn't terrifying.

Here is the paperback cover.  It speaks for itself!

Hadley's mother is thrilled by the big old house she and her new husband, Ed, have just bought, and can't understand why Hadley is being so stand-offish to Ed and Ed's little boy (which is a parenting fail in my book, and I had no patience for the mother's cluelessness about Hadley's emotions).  Hadley doesn't like the house, or the new one big happy family life, but she is intrigued by the old dollhouse she finds, which is a replica of the real thing, where the doll family are living a peaceful life....

But both the real house and the doll house are cursed as a result of the poorly thought-out wishes of a little girl who lived there long ago.

And then Hadley wishes for a family like the one in the doll house.

It doesn't go well.

Ed and his boy disappear, and Hadley's biological father shows up (there were very good reasons why her mother won't talk about him).  Hadley realizes she's blundered into a great wrong-ness, and tries desperately to dam the flow of dark magic, before she is doomed like so many others who lived in the house before for her...….

It's a gripping story if you have the stomach for brooding wrongness mutating into full on horror (the original little girl, for instance, is compelled to gouge out her own eye, and Hadley's ending is terrifying).  The narrative switches between Hadley's story and that of the little girl in the past, so the reader knows more than Hadley about what's happening in the present.  It's also an interesting twist on the creepy doll story--the dolls themselves are not what's evil, and they are not actors in the drama.

There are three morals to the story--

--be careful what you wish for, of course

--if your family expands, and the new folks in it are actually potentially good and loving additions, it's worth making an effort to give them a chance

-- if you find an old dollhouse up in the attic of your new fixer-upper, get it out of the house immediately!  Especially, you know, if carrion eating insects seem to be drawn to your new home....

So not one that was to my personal taste, because I'm not a fan of horror, but one which I can see young readers who are liking lots!

review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. That paperback cover is really disturbing, yet intriguing for some reason. I'm not sure if I can manage the creepiness though.

  2. This is just the kind of book I avoid. Thanks for the heads up.


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