Despite some reservations, thanks to a rather unusual interview, Kendra accepts a job as a private librarian. Her new boss wants her to curate the library of the mansion he’s recently purchased, with particular attention to the occult section hidden somewhere inside. But, as Kendra uncovers more of the libraries contents, she comes to realise that the mansion holds even more secrets.
Written (and originally posted) as a series of blog entries, the reader sees events unfold more or less as our narrator does. Needless to say, this builds the uncertainty and suspense nicely. After the first third, which focuses mainly on setting up the location and the people involved, there is a steadily increasing sense of paranoia as Kendra learns that just about everyone is hiding something.
The narrative voice is easy to follow, even when things start to become more and more inexplicable. Kendra is easy to identify with and the blog format allows easy access to her thoughts and feelings, all of which are perfectly believable. Having said that, there are a few suggestions that seem to indicate that this may not be the first time Kendra has encountered something beyond the ordinary. While I don’t know if the author intends to explore these hints at a later date, they do serve to help draw the reader in.
The Secret Name is an interesting, fun and often creepy little story, ideal for horror fans looking for a quick but engrossing read.