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Thirteen Storeys

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You're cordially invited to dinner. Penthouse access is available via the broken freight elevator. Black tie optional. A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers - even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or You're cordially invited to dinner. Penthouse access is available via the broken freight elevator. Black tie optional. A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers - even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or deprived, besides a postcode, they share only one thing in common - they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the building's walls. By the end of the night, their host is dead, and none of the guests ever said what happened. His death remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries - until now. But are you ready for their stories? Jonathan Sims' debut is a darkly twisted, genre-bending journey through one of the most innovative haunted houses you'll ever dare to enter.


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You're cordially invited to dinner. Penthouse access is available via the broken freight elevator. Black tie optional. A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers - even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or You're cordially invited to dinner. Penthouse access is available via the broken freight elevator. Black tie optional. A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers - even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or deprived, besides a postcode, they share only one thing in common - they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the building's walls. By the end of the night, their host is dead, and none of the guests ever said what happened. His death remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries - until now. But are you ready for their stories? Jonathan Sims' debut is a darkly twisted, genre-bending journey through one of the most innovative haunted houses you'll ever dare to enter.

30 review for Thirteen Storeys

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ilse

    I'm ready to get my heart ripped out and stamped upon yet again by Jonny Sims, this time in book form!! I'm ready to get my heart ripped out and stamped upon yet again by Jonny Sims, this time in book form!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Superb Cover! As for the story I am not 100% sure what I just read or how much enjoyed or was baffled by it I will try and explain Banyon Court is an affluent residential block in London, the penthouse is lived in by Tobias, a multi billionaire who commissioned and owns the whole building, there is also a not so affluent side ( at the back ) where the ‘poor’ people live, the book is then a set of short stories based around people who live there or are associated with the building ie a plumber, the Superb Cover! As for the story I am not 100% sure what I just read or how much enjoyed or was baffled by it I will try and explain Banyon Court is an affluent residential block in London, the penthouse is lived in by Tobias, a multi billionaire who commissioned and owns the whole building, there is also a not so affluent side ( at the back ) where the ‘poor’ people live, the book is then a set of short stories based around people who live there or are associated with the building ie a plumber, the concierges, an estate agent and tells their stories ( some more interesting than others ) and how they all link in to this Tobias chap, (who by the way is dodgy via various corporate wrong doings ) and then how strange things start to happen to them all, ghostly, horrific things and all culminates in an invitation being received by each of them to attend a dinner in his penthouse, at this dinner unspeakably gross things are asked of them all in a bid to live and if not they die and then....well, not saying anymore I think that’s what I just read It’s intriguing, disturbing, repulsive in parts, annoying in others and at times disorientating But out of all those words Intriguing is the main one I dont think, in fact I know it wont be, a book for everyone, more than that I am not quite sure what to say on it For the ‘difference’ of the book it’s a 7/10 3.5 Stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    The debut novel from Jonathan Sims, best known as the creator and star of the horror podcast The Magnus Archives, revolves around a London building. Banyan Court is the creation of billionaire entrepreneur Tobias Fell (who supposedly inhabits the penthouse, though nobody ever seems to see him). It's divided into two parts, and they are polar opposites: a set of expensive luxury apartments on one side, a designated block of 'affordable housing' on the other. Each chapter concentrates on the story The debut novel from Jonathan Sims, best known as the creator and star of the horror podcast The Magnus Archives, revolves around a London building. Banyan Court is the creation of billionaire entrepreneur Tobias Fell (who supposedly inhabits the penthouse, though nobody ever seems to see him). It's divided into two parts, and they are polar opposites: a set of expensive luxury apartments on one side, a designated block of 'affordable housing' on the other. Each chapter concentrates on the story of an individual resident; these characters hail from both sides of the building, and sometimes from outside it. There are – you guessed it – thirteen stories in all. Every story is engrossing, though they vary in quality. The first – about Violet, who works night shifts – is good, but not remarkable; it's a readable, workmanlike tale of modern life and its cruelties, depicting an exhausted woman struggling to stay afloat (and awake). When I reached the second (Jésus, a wealthy and arrogant art dealer), however, I knew I was getting into something good. This story mixes ekphrasis, which is one of my favourite literary devices regardless of context, with horror; it's a winning combination, and the result is electrifying. The fourth story features a little girl and her imaginary friend, and contains a few lines that are more blood-curdlingly creepy than anything I've read this year. The tenth is another highlight: focusing on a mismatched pair of security guards, it boasts a blinding twist. Like many readers, I was initially interested in this because of The Magnus Archives. I am extremely picky when it comes to podcasts, and Sims has written some of the best episodes I have ever heard.* However, I think the currently airing series of the podcast (the fifth) has lost its way, so I wasn't necessarily predisposed to think Thirteen Storeys would be a work of genius. I was happy to find it has the same characteristics as all the finest Magnus Archives episodes, and indeed all the best horror: it's mostly grounded in reality, and it manages the difficult task of crossing the line into unadulterated supernatural terror without becoming overblown or silly. Each story ends with the protagonist receiving an invite to a dinner party hosted by Tobias Fell, so it's pretty obvious throughout that the climactic chapter will depict the party. That climax is the least interesting part of the book, and its overarching moral is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. The greatest pleasures of Thirteen Storeys are definitely to be found in the individual stories, which make each character interesting and each distinct haunting memorable. *If you've never listened to it before, I'd honestly just recommend starting at the very beginning. The first episode will likely give you a very good sense of whether or not it's your thing. But for the record, my favourites are 'Grifter's Bone' (episode 42), 'Binary' (65), 'Extended Surveillance' (148) and 'Alone' (13). I received an advance review copy of Thirteen Storeys from the publisher through NetGalley. TinyLetter | Linktree

  4. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    A dinner party is being held in the penthouse of a multimillion pound development. All the guests are strangers, even their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. They all share one thing in common,they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the buildings walls. What a creepy and suspense filled read. The first 12 storeys focus on one of the invited guests at the party. There's quite a lot of characters and I kep A dinner party is being held in the penthouse of a multimillion pound development. All the guests are strangers, even their host, the billionaire owner of the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. They all share one thing in common,they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the buildings walls. What a creepy and suspense filled read. The first 12 storeys focus on one of the invited guests at the party. There's quite a lot of characters and I kept forgetting who was who. The plotline is complex. This is an intriguing read that I can't say too much about as I would spoil it for potential readers. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #OrionPublishingGroup and the author JonathanSims for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nils | nilsreviewsit

    Thirteen Storeys is the debut release by Award-winning The Magnus Archives podcaster, Jonathan Sims. Part horror, part thriller and part paranormal, this is a deliciously dark twisted tale where you will enter a haunted house quite like no other. Our story is set in Banyan Court - a thirteen storey residential development built in London and owned by the infamous billionaire entrepreneur, Tobias Fell. Banyan Court was built to accommodate both rich and poor residents, with the apartments being di Thirteen Storeys is the debut release by Award-winning The Magnus Archives podcaster, Jonathan Sims. Part horror, part thriller and part paranormal, this is a deliciously dark twisted tale where you will enter a haunted house quite like no other. Our story is set in Banyan Court - a thirteen storey residential development built in London and owned by the infamous billionaire entrepreneur, Tobias Fell. Banyan Court was built to accommodate both rich and poor residents, with the apartments being divided into two distinct sides. Consequently the residents range from living privileged lives of complete luxury to the deprived who are working all hours to make ends meet. Throughout this novel we explore the lives of thirteen characters, some of which are said residents and some who are working at Banyan Court. Yet these are no ordinary people and they each have a chilling story to tell - stories which always end with them receiving a mysterious invitation to a dinner party with their host, Tobias Fell, a man riddled with dark secrets. From the very first page of this novel we are told that the dinner party in question goes direly wrong and despite there being thirteen witnesses, the events of that fateful night remain a high profile mystery. That is, however, until we pick up this book and uncover the hair-raising truth for ourselves. If, like me, you have a hankering for an unsettling atmospheric read, then I'd strongly suggest reading this book on a gloomy dark evening or two, a blanket wrapped around you, and a hot drink at hand, because it’ll perfectly set the scene. This is a hard book to review because if I wrote in any more detail about each character’s narratives, I fear it would spoil a lot of what makes this a cleverly written horror. Sims has a fantastic way of building up each individual character, of illustrating their backgrounds, the things which make them tick, and then contrasts this by showing us how they each significantly change. Is Banyan Court haunting them? Are they visited by paranormal apparitions, or are they actually descending into insanity? We are continually left with questions which compel us to discover more, and I loved becoming immersed. ‘The spaces in this place aren’t only travelled by your feet. There are directions you cannot follow on a compass. Listen in the dark and follow the music.’ I would say that most of the characters are not overly likeable - each display varied degrees of selfishness, greed, or cynicism. I had my favourites who were less immoral, such as Caroline, a ghost hunter, and Damien who was also investigating unusual incidents surrounding Banyan Court. However, for many of the characters I felt a small satisfaction in watching their lives drastically unravel. I can have a dark sense of humour at times and I honestly found it entertaining to witness each character’s greatest loves become their greatest fears, and to see them become a dishevelled mess by the end of their chapters! I believe this in part was Sims’ intention, I feel the book often relayed the message ‘you get what you give!’ My only slight gripe was there were perhaps too many characters to keep track of. You see, all of them are connected in one way or another, and they are all most certainly connected to Tobias Fell. I’m in the habit of keeping notes whilst reading, so I could always refer back to those if I forgot any of the details. Yet most readers won’t want to do that, which is why I suggest reading this in one or two sittings because a lot of the finer points you may dismiss early on actually become relevant later. Sims really has created an innovative novel where everything falls into place within its thrilling climax. It takes a lot to make me feel creeped out, but I have to give Sims credit here because a few of the stories actually managed to have me on edge. I think this lies in the way Sims’ writing is visually cinematic, and also unsettling because he writes about events which could very well be mental breakdowns rather than anything paranormal. Psychological paranoia and real-life terror is far more frightening to me than the idea of ghosts or demons, and as we are never sure which it is or what is real, I was left feeling apprehensive. ‘The once impressive building now stands silent, casting a lonely eye over the dilapidated buildings below. A thirteen-storey tombstone to a man whose shadow still falls as darkly as that of his creation.’ Within Thirteen Storeys, you will find tales of hauntings, spiralling obsessions, paranoia and underneath it all, of tragedies long buried, and by the end you will surely learn that the forgotten will be forgotten no more. ARC provided by Gollancz in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used are taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Thank you for the copy! Thirteen Storeys is out November 26th but you can preorder a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Sto...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    Disclaimer: I received this book free from Secret Readers. I wasn't so sure about this at first because I've never actually read a horror book, I've read thrillers but never horror so it was a bit of a leap in the dark but I'm glad I chose this book. The story is set in a block of flats in London, and in each new chapter we follow a different character living or working at Banyan Court. Each character is experiencing something distinctly paranormal in the building, whether they are from the rich Disclaimer: I received this book free from Secret Readers. I wasn't so sure about this at first because I've never actually read a horror book, I've read thrillers but never horror so it was a bit of a leap in the dark but I'm glad I chose this book. The story is set in a block of flats in London, and in each new chapter we follow a different character living or working at Banyan Court. Each character is experiencing something distinctly paranormal in the building, whether they are from the rich side or the poor. Their only connections to one another are these experiences, and the invite they each receive for dinner with the reclusive, billionaire owner of the building who hasn't been seen in public for years. It took me a little while to get into, I think partly cause I didn't particularly love any of the first few characters, but what kept me reading was the atmosphere. If you take one thing away from this review, let it be that My God, Jonathan Sims knows how to write a creepy atmosphere. I had literal chills. As I read further I started liking more of the characters (namely Cari - 7, and Damian - 12), but mid-way through the book I was completely invested - regardless of which character was being followed. I really liked the way the book built up, with each different character's perspectives, and how each character's chapter ended with them receiving their invitation to dinner with Tobias Fell. By the time I got to the thirteenth chapter, I was very excited to find out how everything fit together and the conclusion did not disappoint. Having finished my first horror book I don't feel so intimidated by the genre and I look forward to reading any future books from Jonathan Sims.

  7. 5 out of 5

    elisaGolden

    A book?? By Jonathan “Jonny” Sims himself????? Yes, i’m ready to die the millionth time by the hands of this man.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gobookmart

    Google News : https://news.google.com/publications/... Thirteen Storeys is the first novel written by Award-winning The Magnus Archives podcaster, Jonathan Sims. mixed with horror, Thriller and paranormal, this is a delightfully dark twisted story where you will go into a spooky house quite like no other. Thirteen Storeys highlights thirteen stories from individuals who all either live or work in Banyan Court, a thirteen storey high-rise apartment block and residential development in London. Every Google News : https://news.google.com/publications/... Thirteen Storeys is the first novel written by Award-winning The Magnus Archives podcaster, Jonathan Sims. mixed with horror, Thriller and paranormal, this is a delightfully dark twisted story where you will go into a spooky house quite like no other. Thirteen Storeys highlights thirteen stories from individuals who all either live or work in Banyan Court, a thirteen storey high-rise apartment block and residential development in London. Every one of the initial twelve stories centers around a distinctive individual and their encounters inside Banyan Court and finishes with that individual getting an invitation to an evening gathering that is being facilitated by Tobias Fell the reclusive billionaire and modeler who planned Banyan Court and who, hidden away from the world and unseen by people for years lives in the penthouse. The thirteenth and last story brings all the collected players together as the picked of Banyan Court show up for the decisive evening gathering that saw Tobias Fell killed in grisly style. Each story is charming, however they differ in quality. The first – about Violet, who works night shifts – is acceptable, however not noteworthy; it’s a readable, workmanlike story of modern life and its brutalities, portraying an exhausted lady battling to remain above water (and awake). At the point when I arrived at the second (Jésus, a rich and arrogant art dealer), however, I realized I was getting into something great. This story blends ekphrasis, which is one of my number one literary gadgets regardless of context, with horror; it’s a triumphant mix, and the outcome is charming. The fourth story includes a young girl and her imaginary friend, and contains a couple of lines that are more blood-curdlingly unpleasant than anything I’ve perused for the current year. The 10th is another highlight: focused on a mismatched pair of security guards, it flaunts a blinding turn. like many other readers, I was at first keen on this on account of The Magnus Archives. I am amazingly choosy when it comes to listening podcast, and Sims has probably written some of the best scenes I have ever heard. The best delights of Thirteen Storeys are unquestionably to be found in the individual stories, which make each character fascinating and each distinct haunting remarkable. Follow us : Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/GoBookMart1/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/gobookmart2 Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/gobookmart/

  9. 5 out of 5

    The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).

    Thirteen Storeys features thirteen stories from people who all either live or work in Banyan Court, a thirteen storey high-rise apartment block and residential development in London. Each of the first twelve stories focuses on an individual person and their experiences within Banyan Court and ends with that person receiving an invitation to a dinner party that is being hosted by Tobias Fell the reclusive billionaire and architect who designed Banyan Court and who, hidden away from the prying eye Thirteen Storeys features thirteen stories from people who all either live or work in Banyan Court, a thirteen storey high-rise apartment block and residential development in London. Each of the first twelve stories focuses on an individual person and their experiences within Banyan Court and ends with that person receiving an invitation to a dinner party that is being hosted by Tobias Fell the reclusive billionaire and architect who designed Banyan Court and who, hidden away from the prying eyes of the world and unseen by the public in years lives in the penthouse. The thirteenth and final story brings all the assembled players together as the chosen of Banyan Court arrive for the fateful dinner party that saw Tobias Fell murdered in bloody fashion. Even though there were guests at the party, people who should have been eye-witnesses to the murder, no-one saw anything, no-one admits to knowing what happened and there is no knowledge about Fell’s brutal demise. Half a decade later, the guests have never spoken about the dinner party and Fell’s murder has gained a level of infamy as one of the most famous unsolved murder mysteries in the world. Banyan Court is divided into two opposite sides. The front of the building features large, lavish and luxury pristine and modern apartments for the high-class, privileged and the wealthy where their every whim is catered to While the back of the building features basic and functional tenement style apartments that are affordable, dilapidated and rundown for the deprived, low-income and the lower-class. The twelve people who each receive a dinner party invitation are workers and residents of varying ages who come from both sides of the social strata and both sides of Banyan Court. The residents and workers aren’t connected, they don’t know each other, only, for some their paths have crossed in passing and none of them has ever met or even seen Tobias Fell. The only connections that they have are the dinner party invitations that they receive and that they have all felt the cold embrace and the ghostly caress of strange and unexplained occurrences in Banyan Court. The chosen have all been tainted by the evil that is woven into the fabric of the building, the skeletons in the closet of Tobias Fell that have been burnt, left to crumble, to turn to dust, but that are reaching from the beyond, clawing to be let out and the sickness that is seeping out of the walls and infecting them. Each story (bar the thirteenth which as I have already mentioned is the climax) is a separate strand, a singular thread on the spider web to the overarching plot with the mysterious death of Tobias Fell at the centre of the web. A snapshot of the individual person, giving you their own tale and the picture surrounding what is happening to them, but as you read more of Thirteen Storeys you begin to see things coming together, the clouds disperse and you get a clearer picture about Banyan Court, about Tobias Fell and the reason behind what is happening and why. There is some slight overlap between a few of the stories, but it is nothing major, just a gentle nudge, a whisper on the wind. Occasionally, seemingly innocent and innocuous sentences that mention in passing events and characters from the other stories have been cleverly added to the narrative that will make you question what you have already read. I know that after writing in the previous paragraph that the stories are separate that I sound like I am contradicting myself, I’m not. Each story can easily be read separately with the endpoint for each being the individual character receiving their dinner party invitation. The overlap doesn’t change that, at all, is only very minor and simply serves to make you ruminate further on the stories and adds a little extra layering and depth to the complete story. The characters are an interesting and eclectic bunch of personalities who are all human with the diversity and flaws that being human entails. The stories in Thirteen Storeys are saturated in an eerie atmosphere with a creeping sense of unease and a sinister undertone. Some are insidious and offer a grounded and measured approach, are cerebral and use the adage of ‘less is more’ leaving your imagination to run wild. While others are far more visceral with sections that include some full-blown grotesque and macabre vivid imagery that aid in raising the creep factor and chilling the blood in your veins to ice-cold. With the differences in both the stories and the hauntings, Thirteen Storeys is a varied collection of immersive and unsettling tales. The one constant in the stories and this is where, for me, the true terror lies is that they are all written in such a way that you are left with a niggling doubt over whether what the characters are experiencing is psychological and they have fallen down a rabbit hole of delusion, their own fears, obsession and paranoia or if there is actually a hostile and malevolent supernatural force at play that has touched, corrupting and is influencing them. Without going into detail, some favourite stories of mine were The Knock about a renowned art dealer who acquires a painting and becomes obsessed with it. Smart about a tech apartment which is a fascinating and frightening look at technology, our reliance upon it and how it can take over and control our lives. A Foot in the Door which is about a character researching the history of Banyan Court and Tobias Fell. Bad Penny about a child on the rich side, her always hungry imaginary friend and the games that they play. Round The Clock about two concierges working the rich half of Banyan Court. Old Plumbing about a plumber who is investigating the pipes in Banyan Court and the discoloured liquid that is flowing out of them. And finally, The Builder which is the last story gives reader’s their first glimpse at Tobias Fell and features the dinner party, all of the convened guests and the true events that transpired in the penthouse. I relished and took a savage glee in seeing the characters unravel and slowly come undone inside the nightmarish confines of the disturbing Banyan Court and I found the dark and twisted delight that is Thirteen Storeys to be thrilling, chilling and thoroughly entertaining.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims a collection of stories about residents of Banyan court. A building owned by Billionaire Tobas fell who died when he invited 12 people to dinner. Each story about the residents tell us of paranormal experiences that they have while residing there and after each of them being given an invitation to join Tobas fell for dinner. I really enjoyed these unique stories about the residents that came to an inclusion at the end. Each from different backgrounds and some of Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims a collection of stories about residents of Banyan court. A building owned by Billionaire Tobas fell who died when he invited 12 people to dinner. Each story about the residents tell us of paranormal experiences that they have while residing there and after each of them being given an invitation to join Tobas fell for dinner. I really enjoyed these unique stories about the residents that came to an inclusion at the end. Each from different backgrounds and some of them not knowing each other until that fateful night that brought them together and others meeting each other around the estate. Conversing with each other to see if they are experiencing the weird goings on that they have been witness too. This book was creepy and atmospheric with some weird characters that kept me engaged throughout. I thought this was quite apt for this time of year.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Thirteen Storeys is a cross between macabre horror and an unsettling thriller by renowned horror podcaster Jonathan Sims. In his nightmarish debut, Sims pens an anthology of interlinked short tales, which all come together to make up a chilling novel playing on both modern and more traditional fears. Banyon Court in Whitechapel, London, is a set of apartments commissioned and owned by reclusive and introverted billionaire Tobias Fell, with an odd mix of luxury apartments for the elite and more a Thirteen Storeys is a cross between macabre horror and an unsettling thriller by renowned horror podcaster Jonathan Sims. In his nightmarish debut, Sims pens an anthology of interlinked short tales, which all come together to make up a chilling novel playing on both modern and more traditional fears. Banyon Court in Whitechapel, London, is a set of apartments commissioned and owned by reclusive and introverted billionaire Tobias Fell, with an odd mix of luxury apartments for the elite and more affordable flats for the poor, accessed by the back door. A sight of glossy metals and sparkling glasswork, the block is built on the site of an old, disused Victorian-era factory. We are informed via an obituary at the beginning that Tobias died mysteriously not long after hosting a lavish dinner party in his penthouse suite and inviting each of the inhabitants or those with ties to the apartment building as guests. Each of the thirteen chapters is told from the perspective of a different partygoer and is a mini-story in itself detailing exactly how each guest was invited. No one knows what happened to the seemingly timid Tobias but it was certainly suspicious in nature and warranted further investigation. Taking place in the months leading up to his death we see life through the eyes of each unique character. Banyon Court is no ordinary abode as a creepy atmosphere lingers like a dark cloud above it at all times and there's always a faint yet strange chill in the air. None of the guests know each other past the odd glance or smile in passing, but they all share a common complaint: they've each experienced the unexplainable and downright terrifying within their four walls. Only in the genius ending chapter is everything revealed when the characters come together as an ensemble and the truth is unfurled. This is a chilling, disturbing and completely entertaining horror story written in such a unique and refreshingly original fashion that it's impossible not to swiftly become immersed in the weirdness and gruesome mystery of the happenings at Banyon Court. Some of the characters are more memorable than others and differ in terms of likability, too, but each one added another puzzle piece towards the full picture, and I thought telling it from a diverse range of perspectives worked like a charm. Sims is a master of instilling his narrative with a palpably tense, almost claustrophobic, atmosphere and a deeply engrossing and creeping sense of dread.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    oh this was so much fun. thirteen storeys is in fact thirteen stories, each one focusing on a different resident of a deeply Cursèd Building as they become individually haunted by a unique and personalised horror; it’s spooky and compelling and threaded throughout are some really interesting themes about capitalism, privilege, and complicity - obviously horror is always at its best when it’s functioning as a vehicle to explore genuine social issues & anxieties and i think it was mostly used to f oh this was so much fun. thirteen storeys is in fact thirteen stories, each one focusing on a different resident of a deeply Cursèd Building as they become individually haunted by a unique and personalised horror; it’s spooky and compelling and threaded throughout are some really interesting themes about capitalism, privilege, and complicity - obviously horror is always at its best when it’s functioning as a vehicle to explore genuine social issues & anxieties and i think it was mostly used to fantastic effect here. this isn’t a perfect book - the prose is competent but a little clunky at times (the annoying little goblin that lives in my head had a great time rearranging sentences to make them flow better), some of the characters shone more than others, the ending was slightly abrupt, and the symbolism can be a little too on the nose at points, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable read, and as a bonus the author does a great job writing diverse characters without it ever feeling tokenising or superficial. 4.5 stars and now i probably will actually start listening to the magnus archives

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    A dinner party is being held in the penthouse of a multimillion pound development. All the guests are strangers, even their host,the billionaire owner the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. They all share one thing in common, they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the buildings walls. What a creepy and suspense filled read. The first twelve storeys focus on one of the invited guests at the party and I kept forgetting who was who. The plot A dinner party is being held in the penthouse of a multimillion pound development. All the guests are strangers, even their host,the billionaire owner the building. None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. They all share one thing in common, they've all experienced a shocking disturbance within the buildings walls. What a creepy and suspense filled read. The first twelve storeys focus on one of the invited guests at the party and I kept forgetting who was who. The plotline is complex. This is an intriguing read that I can't say too much about as I would spoil the book for potential readers. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #OrionPublishingGroup for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A very creepy collection of tales by those who live or work in the poor or wealthy half of Banyan Court in London, a thirteen-storey residential building owned by the recluse Tobias Fell, who lives in the penthouse and whose inexplicable murder begins the story. As I'd expect in a collection of tales, some are better than others and some are really good. Very spooky, sinister and menacing. Characters flit between the stories in a rather pleasing way! My only issue is that, listening to the audio A very creepy collection of tales by those who live or work in the poor or wealthy half of Banyan Court in London, a thirteen-storey residential building owned by the recluse Tobias Fell, who lives in the penthouse and whose inexplicable murder begins the story. As I'd expect in a collection of tales, some are better than others and some are really good. Very spooky, sinister and menacing. Characters flit between the stories in a rather pleasing way! My only issue is that, listening to the audiobook, I had a lot of trouble at the denouement remembering who was who and I had to keep looking them up in my NetGalley. Having said that, the audiobook is excellent, with each story having its own narrator. That made the final very lengthy chapter really entertaining with all of the different voices. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Blimey this one steals your sleep, not only because its such a page turner but it is very very creepy…I spent several nights waking up suddenly thinking someone was watching me…yep that’s a sign of a great piece of storytelling right there. We open with a retrospective of an unsolved mystery – that of the death of a rich entrepreneur at his own dinner party…to this day his guests have remained tight lipped claiming no knowledge of how it occurred. Reader, we are about to find out.. Strange events, Blimey this one steals your sleep, not only because its such a page turner but it is very very creepy…I spent several nights waking up suddenly thinking someone was watching me…yep that’s a sign of a great piece of storytelling right there. We open with a retrospective of an unsolved mystery – that of the death of a rich entrepreneur at his own dinner party…to this day his guests have remained tight lipped claiming no knowledge of how it occurred. Reader, we are about to find out.. Strange events, ghostly goings on, a snapshot of disparate and diverse lives as each separate character is lead inexorably towards one night in a penthouse suite that ends in visceral violence. It is scarily beautifully crafted, the author subtly linking each tale, carefully leading you to a brutal and edgy finale. I loved every minute of this despite the distinct feeling of underlying doom each separate strand offers. Very clever indeed, this is a haunted house story on acid. Here’s one talented author for sure. Highly recommended

  16. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Goncalves

    Welcome to Banyan Court, a multimillion-pound building in the heart of London where strange things happen and secrets hide behind every door. I struggled with the rating I should give this book… To be honest the last chapter and epilogue makes it an easy four stars book, or even higher. But there are some parts of it that might make you lose focus and put it aside before reaching the end. So, let's go back to the beginning. I had never heard of Jonathan Sims before seeing some Instagram stories wher Welcome to Banyan Court, a multimillion-pound building in the heart of London where strange things happen and secrets hide behind every door. I struggled with the rating I should give this book… To be honest the last chapter and epilogue makes it an easy four stars book, or even higher. But there are some parts of it that might make you lose focus and put it aside before reaching the end. So, let's go back to the beginning. I had never heard of Jonathan Sims before seeing some Instagram stories where parts of his book were being read, from what I gathered he’s known from some audiobooks that seem to get some praise, something I don’t have that much experience with, and what I heard made me curious. The idea was simple, a building with thirteen floors and a book with thirteen chapters. So basically, thirteen short stories. Well, in a way. These stories are all part of a bigger, more encompassing story, and each of them gives you more information on the big mystery behind it all. You see, in the prologue you find that the owner of the building, a billionaire named Tobias Fell, was murdered in his penthouse during a dinner party with thirteen other people, some of them tenants in that very same building, were present. The thing is no one can, or will, explain what happened. And, as you may have guessed, the following chapters concern the people at the dinner party on the days leading to it and what they had gone through. These stories go from straight supernatural, to suspense and mystery, to paranoia and edge-of-your-seat stressful, while we follow an ordinary repair man looking for a problem in the pipes of the building, a writer looking for ghosts, an insomniac mother of a five-year-old, an art dealer and even a seven-year-old girl and her imaginary friend, among others. And the writer may lose some readers in all these stories, especially those who are looking for a certain kind of story. While they are all well constructed stories, some are more interesting than others and might seem kind of uninteresting in the great scheme of things. But, when you think of them after reading everything, they really kind of aren’t. You may think the book is uninteresting at the beginning because it seems disconnected and not going anywhere. However, after the first third of the book you start making connections and you can't put it down until you find what's going on. And then you are at the last chapter and when you get to that point, well… … the only way out is up. (And so you know… I changed my rating after writing this. It just made sense.)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Veronica_p

    Fuck rich people 😌

  18. 4 out of 5

    Runalong

    A fantastic interweaves story of horror in a place where the Rick and poor live. Inventive horrors, memorable characters and a smart theme - excellent Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl... A fantastic interweaves story of horror in a place where the Rick and poor live. Inventive horrors, memorable characters and a smart theme - excellent Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and publisher Orion Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. I was incredibly hyped to read this book and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I think the blurb is rather misleading and it gave me the wrong impression of what this book was. Rather than it being a set of alibis/ghost stories presented after the billionaire has died mysteriously, it is instead a short story collection of various people in the building encountering va I received an ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and publisher Orion Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. I was incredibly hyped to read this book and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I think the blurb is rather misleading and it gave me the wrong impression of what this book was. Rather than it being a set of alibis/ghost stories presented after the billionaire has died mysteriously, it is instead a short story collection of various people in the building encountering various ghosts before being invited to a dinner with the billionaire. The short stories themselves are only connected by a few characters and the building, so this book resembles more of an anthology than one cohesive narrative. It is only the final story where the billionaire dies and you find out what happens at the dinner party, tying the stories together. Having said that, once I got over my disappointment with the premise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The stories can get a little repetitive with the structure, but some of the ghost ideas are exceptionally cool. I particularly liked the haunted smart house, the concierge one and the imaginary friend. Apart from the smart house story, the final one is easily the best. It was a brilliant payoff to the premise promised by the blurb and had much needed (if a bit heavy handed) social commentary. I do really wish this had been a full length novel. You could have taken 3 or 4 of the characters and focused on them, plus the billionaire. It would have allowed for more interaction between the characters and a deeper exploration of the ghost stories and social themes. But for what it is, Thirteen Storeys is decent. It's a shame the anthology format did it no favours. Overall, I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys ghost stories and is looking for one with a more modern/unusual twist. There are plenty of interesting ghost concepts and goings on to enjoy, and the bonus of the last story tying everything together really does make this collection worth a look. Overall Rating: 3.5/5

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Magnus

    actual rating: 4.5 stars soooo.... this was great. i admit i had a hard time getting into it and i was pretty sure i wouldn't like it after reading the first 3 chapters but then the plot got more intense and i got used to the way the whole thing was structured and was pretty much hooked by the end of chapter 5. it is kinda slow moving at first but things get crazy pretty fast and there were some very eerie scenes that left me very uncomfortable, which is totally the vibe i was hoping for! we also ha actual rating: 4.5 stars soooo.... this was great. i admit i had a hard time getting into it and i was pretty sure i wouldn't like it after reading the first 3 chapters but then the plot got more intense and i got used to the way the whole thing was structured and was pretty much hooked by the end of chapter 5. it is kinda slow moving at first but things get crazy pretty fast and there were some very eerie scenes that left me very uncomfortable, which is totally the vibe i was hoping for! we also have a pretty big cast of characters and all of them were very distinctive. they were all very diverse regarding race, gender and class. the diversity was mostly subtly woven into the story, which i really liked. i favored some characters over others - *cough* Damian *cough* - but all of them had fleshed out personalities and motives and generally felt very realistic. i had both the audiobook and the ebook at my disposal and while i definitively prefer the ebook (something to do with the fact that i would have preferred for jonny to just read the whole thing), i actually really enjoyed the last chapter where all the narrators came together and basically acted out the whole scene. so i understand why the decision was made to hire a bunch of different narrators for every character and it's definitely a clever idea, but it just wasn't for me most of the time. mostly because i went into the audiobook with different expectations but that's on me. i would recommend this if you're a fan of jonathan's work or if you'd just like to read a horror-thriller-murder-mustery with ghosts. --- Excuse me, but the audiobook is narrated by the man himself and i just ahhhhhhhhhh edit: turns out the audiobook has more narrators than i have friends. not sure I'm into it. i just wanted Jonathan Sims to read to me 🤨 --- can't wait for Jonny to rip out my heart again tomorrow, but this time in book form 😭

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    I received this book from Secret Readers, and was initially attracted by the suggestion of different tales merging to form a coherent whole. I was unsure about the extent to which this story could hold attention, but I feel it works overall. Our main focus is the wealthy businessman Tobias Fell, who is found dead in his penthouse apartment. Nobody knows what happened to him and there are no signs of anything untoward. On the night of his death there were a number of guests from the building he ow I received this book from Secret Readers, and was initially attracted by the suggestion of different tales merging to form a coherent whole. I was unsure about the extent to which this story could hold attention, but I feel it works overall. Our main focus is the wealthy businessman Tobias Fell, who is found dead in his penthouse apartment. Nobody knows what happened to him and there are no signs of anything untoward. On the night of his death there were a number of guests from the building he owns invited to his home. None of them claim to have seen anything or know anything. What on earth happened? Having told us there is something unusual about this occurrence, we are then given thirteen different stories. Each of these focuses on a different character, and the only thing they have in common is that they live in the building and have been experiencing strange events. Naturally, some of the stories were more interesting than others. Few of the characters were particularly likeable, and each had something about them that appeared to make them unusual in some way. What was quickly clear, though, was that this building was not a positive place. As the stories progressed I did feel that things were becoming a little repetitive. However, in light of the overall story - and once we have the closing scenes that we have spent the book waiting for - it becomes clear that this makes sense. This was a little more graphic in parts than I was expecting, and I'm still unsure how much of this was real and how much was imagined. However, it certainly made clear the sometimes the real horror can be much closer to home!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Smith

    The story is set in a block of flats in London, and in each new chapter, we learn of a different character living or working at Banyan Court. Each character is experiencing some sort of paranormal activity in the building, whether they are from the rich side or the poor. Their only connection to one another are these experiences, and the invite they each receive for dinner with the billionaire owner of the building who hasn't been seen in public for years. Jonathan Sims knows how to write a creep The story is set in a block of flats in London, and in each new chapter, we learn of a different character living or working at Banyan Court. Each character is experiencing some sort of paranormal activity in the building, whether they are from the rich side or the poor. Their only connection to one another are these experiences, and the invite they each receive for dinner with the billionaire owner of the building who hasn't been seen in public for years. Jonathan Sims knows how to write a creepy atmosphere! I had chills while reading this book and I was genuinely captivated by it. When I started to read the book I was quite dubious, I'm not a huge reader of the genre but this sounded very intriguing. It was a slow start for me in the beginning, mainly because I wasn't invested in a couple of the starting characters. I read further I started liking more of the characters and found that I was invested in how it ended. I really loved the way the book built up. Each chapter was from each different character's perspectives, and each chapter ended the same as well with the character receiving an invite to dinner. When the thirteenth chapter finally came around I was very excited to find out how everything fit together and it did not disappoint. This was a very good introduction for me to the genre and I do recommend it if you want a spooky read that will keep you on your feet until the end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    An enjoyable read that had several issues for me sadly. The pacing is rather slow. Each story usually has an unsatisfying conclusion but I let that go as it was obvious the finale would tie ends up. The finale was somewhat underwhelming. Morals are delivered via a sledgehammer. Possibly too many characters that are all linked in some (often tiny) ways. You really need to make sure you keep up. Saying that, there are many positives. This plays out like the classic Amicus portmanteau of yesterday year. An enjoyable read that had several issues for me sadly. The pacing is rather slow. Each story usually has an unsatisfying conclusion but I let that go as it was obvious the finale would tie ends up. The finale was somewhat underwhelming. Morals are delivered via a sledgehammer. Possibly too many characters that are all linked in some (often tiny) ways. You really need to make sure you keep up. Saying that, there are many positives. This plays out like the classic Amicus portmanteau of yesterday year. It would make a brilliant TV series in the vein of Nyman's Ghost Stories. A lot of this book is about atmosphere and mood. It's this that possibly makes the book a little slow but on the screen the authors ideas will pop. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a well written chiller. Just don't pin your hopes on a satisfying ending. The penthouse wasn't quite as luxurious as I'd hoped.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Mccormick

    My thanks to the Author publishers and Secret Readers for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review. This is a very clever descriptive engaging tale, atmospheric with brilliantly drawn characters who leap off the page. Thirteen Storeys refers to a block of flats in London owned by a reclusive billionaire who lives in the penthouse, but very cleverly also refers to thirteen chapters each a short story about a particular individual character, but all ultimately lin My thanks to the Author publishers and Secret Readers for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review. This is a very clever descriptive engaging tale, atmospheric with brilliantly drawn characters who leap off the page. Thirteen Storeys refers to a block of flats in London owned by a reclusive billionaire who lives in the penthouse, but very cleverly also refers to thirteen chapters each a short story about a particular individual character, but all ultimately linked to complete the tale of an very original haunted house but on a grand scale. Totally recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mer Mendoza (Merlyn’s Book Hoard)

    Ahhhhhh! Ok, so this is far and above my most anticipated new release of the year and probably my most anticipated debut novel ever. Jonny Sims has an unbelievable talent when it comes to ambitious and unusual storytelling. His podcast, The Magnus Archives, is easily one of the best examples of world-building and character development I have ever encountered in my life and his work as lyricist in the nearly indescribably weird artistic collaboration that is the band The Mechanisms was a discover Ahhhhhh! Ok, so this is far and above my most anticipated new release of the year and probably my most anticipated debut novel ever. Jonny Sims has an unbelievable talent when it comes to ambitious and unusual storytelling. His podcast, The Magnus Archives, is easily one of the best examples of world-building and character development I have ever encountered in my life and his work as lyricist in the nearly indescribably weird artistic collaboration that is the band The Mechanisms was a discovery that changed my life. The multitalented Mr. Sims never fails to astonish. When I heard he had a novel coming out, it felt like hearing that an old friend had accomplished something amazing; I have never been so proud of a stranger in my life. I immediately searched for preorder options, and when I couldn’t find a local retailer, I sprung for the international shipping fees to ensure that I could have it on my shelves. When I got approved for an early review copy, I was full on over the moon. (Saw the email while taking the dogs out for a 5am potty break and instantly switched from half asleep into ready to read mode). We open with a killer first line: “Five years on, it’s an all-too-familiar cliché that the only thing more interesting than the life of Tobias Fell was his death.” And proceed from there to eviscerating the capitalist system that allows billionaires to amass their fortunes. So. We start off on strong footing and, for anyone familiar with Jonny’s other works, familiar ground—I can’t think of anyone who takes more delight than Mr. Sims in creatively addressing, dismantling, and just generally poking a stick at the evils of capitalism. While I eagerly await my hard copy of the book to arrive from overseas, I actually found myself surprised to note that I am really glad to have read this book as an ebook. The thirteen stories in this book are deeply intertwined with one another, despite the fact that I was well on my way to the halfway point before those connections started to become overtly clear. On multiple occasions I was delighted to highlight a name or date or other specific and uses the search function to see exactly where and how they had appeared earlier in the text. Things that sieved through my memory as throwaway lines or one off side characters came back into focus and helped to show just how well crafted each narrative is. A paper copy would have lacked that convenience, that sense of looking at the internal organs of the structure —something like what Violet felt about seeing the old freight elevator in Banyan Court,“a towering metal spine, a strange relic of iron vertebrae gradually falling to rust.” Or perhaps, much the way Janek sees a building, this story is “not entirely unlike a human body, with its veins and membranes and intestines, and he often had a sense of how a structure lived.” Give it a go. You’ll be delighted and horrified all at once.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    If the workers take a notion, They can stop all speeding trains; Every ship upon the ocean They can tie with mighty chains Every wheel in the creation, Every mine and every mill, Fleets and armies of the nation, Will at their command stand still. So based on the sum total of my impressions of Jonny Sims' writing from The Magnus Archives, this book has Jonny Sims' writing hallmarks all over it, and there are a lot of them--fakeout-anthology mystery, thematic interest in place-as-character and place as sh If the workers take a notion, They can stop all speeding trains; Every ship upon the ocean They can tie with mighty chains Every wheel in the creation, Every mine and every mill, Fleets and armies of the nation, Will at their command stand still. So based on the sum total of my impressions of Jonny Sims' writing from The Magnus Archives, this book has Jonny Sims' writing hallmarks all over it, and there are a lot of them--fakeout-anthology mystery, thematic interest in place-as-character and place as shaped by human lives as a particular gothic haunting concept, and also just things like interest in people's jobs. That actually sticks out to me a lot about his writing: the interest in work, in livelihood, in lives. In shifts and the differences in identifying with a profession (blue-collar or white-collar) and working a job; in the way people live, day to day. There is no such thing as a "mundane" person in his worldview and in the end I think that is the heart of it that I am so fond of; so much horror is riddled with apathy, contempt, and the deliberate distancing of creator (and reader/viewer) from empathy, and this ain't it. TMA and Thirteen Storeys are bleeding-heart horror, so of course I'm gonna love it on some level. I was ongoingly touched by the heart in it, by the lack of slavish devotion to horror trope (the level of violence, and quality of the eerie in fact, was evidence of this) and also the intended kindness to the people involved. It's kinder to some than to others, but all the same a lot more horrific revelation comes from guilt and facing truth in this book than from danger. ... this book is also very messy, not all in a fun gnarly kind of way. Some things seemed like they lacked the touch of an editor, both developmentally and also occasionally on just a manuscript level, at least in the ebook--the author has little/no control over that whole situation, but it gave the whole thing an unfinished, "fanfiction by a talented writer" feel. Some of that was the intrinsically odd premise of the chaptering: it's both anthology-ish and not, in that it's immediately even less standalone than early TMA episodes. Each chapter jerks abruptly into the life, head, and story of a new person, but none of them resolve within that chapter. It's like listening to a really complicated bolero. It's disorienting and I can imagine it would be a barrier to engagement for some. Then there are some also kind of unsurprising stylistic hallmarks that do make me roll my eyes a little--this book is preachy. It's in fact like, charmingly tackily satisfyingly preachy. It went everywhere I wanted it to go morally and emotionally, and more, and in fact it kind of went too much there. This is not a real complaint, but it definitely pitches over a certain threshold of control after chapters of really well-handled bittersweet--and just bitter--emotionality. There's also this thing that both it and TMA contain which I can only describe as "nerd taxonomy obsession" where there's always like awkward expository reference to the rules of fantasy somewhere in there, even if none of the characters seem to be people in a context where they'd talk about it, and generally doing away with a few percentage points of numinousness because of it... also, in addition to being preachy, it's a bit over-judgmental, which bothers me more. Not of its central targets--to hell with them, I share all this book's politics and preoccupations--but inconsistently to individuals and how they react or don't. This is very much a book (but also writer, IME) that cannot let someone walk through without letting the reader know that it doesn't fully approve of their actions. I think at a certain point the reader can infer this and does not need to be told each time. ... but hell, you know what? I liked it. It's good. I was emotionally invested increasingly through the whole (absurd) ending. It overexplains and it's on-the-nose but it's on a nose I liked. Avita's chapter was my favorite, but I liked several people a lot: Janek, Jason, hell even Jesús, the narrative tried really hard (yet also half-heartedly) to get me to judge Jesús for his myriad of douchey life choices but also he was a delight. Anyway, I can't complain about something so directly in my wheelhouse and I hope Jonny (I am really not on a first-name basis with this complete stranger; I am just a TMA fan inculcated with this odd, internet fandom-y convention) keeps writing and keeps publishing. Although I hope he writes something in first-person narrative, because I think it's his strongest suit. And it's a really strong suit, I'd like to add.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Robert Collins

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book sounds great but it isn't all we get is short stories in another format that are all set in 13 storey building that is run down. Each story has theme and some of characters from other stories are in the others. It is also difficult to say if this a crime book or horror book. The later stories change as if he wrote them later because they are much better than the first part of the book. This book sounds great but it isn't all we get is short stories in another format that are all set in 13 storey building that is run down. Each story has theme and some of characters from other stories are in the others. It is also difficult to say if this a crime book or horror book. The later stories change as if he wrote them later because they are much better than the first part of the book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Birkby

    If you’re a fan of The Magnus Archives - and I’m very much am - then this will be familiar territory to you. If you’ve never listened - this is the story of the kind of horror that creeps into ordinary life for ordinary people, step by step, until by the time they are caught in the horrific events, they are scarcely aware there’s any other way to be; or how to escape. This was an aspect that always fascinated me in TMA and it’s here too, interwoven with the inequalities of life in London, for ri If you’re a fan of The Magnus Archives - and I’m very much am - then this will be familiar territory to you. If you’ve never listened - this is the story of the kind of horror that creeps into ordinary life for ordinary people, step by step, until by the time they are caught in the horrific events, they are scarcely aware there’s any other way to be; or how to escape. This was an aspect that always fascinated me in TMA and it’s here too, interwoven with the inequalities of life in London, for rich and poor, the difficulties and the pains and how they impact on everyone - with a dramatic final scene. Loved it

  29. 4 out of 5

    caro (she/they)

    god this is even better than i thought it would be

  30. 4 out of 5

    Helen Carolan

    Goodness me this was an eerie and at time unsettling read. Reclusive millionaire Tobias Fell lives in a penthouse flat in Banyan court in London. One August evening he invites a mixed bunch of the court's residents to a party. By the end of the evening he's dead. We then go back a few days to hear the stories of the 13 guests and the scary and unsettling events that happened in their lives just prior to the party. Excellent read. Goodness me this was an eerie and at time unsettling read. Reclusive millionaire Tobias Fell lives in a penthouse flat in Banyan court in London. One August evening he invites a mixed bunch of the court's residents to a party. By the end of the evening he's dead. We then go back a few days to hear the stories of the 13 guests and the scary and unsettling events that happened in their lives just prior to the party. Excellent read.

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