The Girl in the Wall by Benedis-Grab

At a high school birthday party, security guards for the live entertainment pull their weapons on the kids, start shooting, and the party turns in to a hostage situation. Ariel, the birthday girl hears the noises, quickly runs away and hides in a crawl space between the walls. Within moments a friend of Ariel’s who looks like her and her father are both executed in brain splattering gory detail. And then other kids are killed as well. Again and again all night long.

The Girl in the Wall
By Daphne Benedis-Grab
Merit Press
December 2012

Reading through this “Children’s book” for teenagers was more horrifying than even horror books I’ve read by Stephen King or the Walking Dead. Because this author crosses the line of torturing and killing children! In detail. With gore. A kid won’t answer where Ariel is (because they don’t know) so the bad guys shoot him in the head, brain matter splattering the other kids. Even a bad guy remarks, “I didn’t sign up to kill children” at one point.

Which brings me to the main question: what is the point of this? No one, movies, TV and most books go this far in violently treating characters that are children. (Remember the debate raised about the Walking Dead on AMC in season 1 when Rick shoots a child zombie? Imagine a story where bad guys killed children who were not zombies, a lot.) Here this author does and there isn’t a payoff. There isn’t a moral. There isn’t even progression of character. It’s like a horrible nightmare of what none of us parents would ever want to contemplate. A what if? from Hell. And the author seems to delight in it.

This is an uncompromisingly dark, poorly conceived and completely inappropriate book that I would never let a young person read (and I woudl go to great lengths to tell everyone to avoid.)


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.