Friday, March 15, 2024

This Was a Disappointment I Didn't Expect


TITLE: Episode Thirteen
AUTHOR: Craig DiLouie
PUBLISHING DATE: January 24, 2023
PAGES: 437   

FROM GOODREADS: Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband-and-wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts. Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high-tech gear will prove it. But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might not be everything Matt dreamed of. A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, and correspondence, this is the story of Episode Thirteen -- and how everything went terribly, horribly wrong.

MY THOUGHTS: I've wanted to read this book ever since I first heard of it and had a thrifted copy on my shelves for over 8-9 months. I was almost sure I would love it because one, it's horror and two, it's told in epistolary format.  Man was I ever wrong.

The book features a Matt and Claire who are married and host the first series of a ghost hunting TV show.  The season is coming to an end, and they hope to go out with a big bang and score an infamous site for their final episode of the year.  While Matt loves what he does, Claire is actually a scientist who spends all her time debunking paranormal activity when she would rather make her mark in the scientific world.  When the team actually starts to experience things they cannot explain, things start to shift.  Claire becomes obsessed with the house and its history, some crew members start acting odd, and one is running scared.  Can they secure a second season and if they do, will anyone still be around to film it?

I really disliked most of these characters but will admit it was fun cheering some of them on to their demise.  Claire was tolerable until she became weirdly obsessed with house and for some reason, I also liked the cameraman.  Kevin, a retired police officer in my opinion was a stereotype off a lot of bad things you hear about cops, and Jessica, the one real actress in the show, was ok.  Actually, not sure her name is actually Jessica.  I guess a found-footage book just didn't work for me like movies of this type usually do.  

If you love horror, ghost hunting and creepy settings, this book will probably work for you.  Most of our book club liked it, I just wasn't one of them, which really stinks because I thought for sure it would be a winner.  I still have a few books by this author I want to read, and this one didn't put me off from trying additional titles in the future. Hopefully if you pick it up, it will work for you.



  1. I didn't like how Claire got obsessed with the house in this one either, and while I love a good ghost story set in a haunted house this one didn't work for me, which was disappointing because the premise is so good.

  2. Sorry it didn't work for you Barb. Sometimes that is just how it is.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. Well you know I didn't like I didn't even finish.

  4. I thought you would like this too, sorry it didn't work. I remember loving it, but it does take a very strange turn near the end.