From Publishers Weekly
Scottish crime novelist Mina, previously known in comics for a run on Hellblazer, provides a creepy, taut tale of family greed that leads to murder. At first the Ushers' squabbles over money, home renovations, and who will take care of grandma are the stuff of ordinary dysfunction. But after family members start dying under suspicious circumstances, it becomes clear there is evil at work. The Ushers' adopted son, Sam, tries to solve the mystery, uncovering unsavory family secrets and tales of witchcraft in the process. The sharp angles and high contrast of Italian artist Fuse's b&w illustrations create an appropriately dark atmosphere and fit well with the plot's abrupt turns. Readers will likely find their alliances shifting quickly from character to character all the way to the satisfying wrap up.
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Award-winning Scottish crime-novelist Mina (Still Midnight, 2010) has written comics before (Hellblazer), but this is her first stand-alone graphic novel. It’s about a family, the Ushers, who put the dys in dysfunctional: father Ted is ineffectual, mother Biddy is unfaithful, daughter Amy rages against unfairness, son William is a heroin addict, grandmother Martha is unloved, and no one will let the other son, Sam, forget he was adopted. The bickering is bearable—until a murder in the downstairs flat creates a hole, literally, at the center of this house of Usher. Paranormal suggestions and a mounting sense of dread will make readers wonder whether this mystery story has a supernatural solution; both the premise and Fuso’s kinetic black-and-white art suggest an unearthed gem from the EC Comics vault. But it’s Mina’s plotting and pacing that kick this into high gear. “It’s a war, family life,” says one of the characters, and if this family feud is fatal, it’s awfully entertaining, too. --Keir Graff