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"That Night in the Library" | Reviewed by Susan Ferguson

“That Night in the Library,” by Eva Jurczyk, is a contemporary mystery thriller set on a college campus in Vermont at the William E. Woodend Rare Books Library, to be exact.

It is the night before graduation and seven students are meeting in the basement of the library after hours to perform a ritual. Davey Kebede has been working at the library as an assistant and is hoping upon graduation to be offered the one permanent position available at the library. It also is Davey’s desire to stage a Greek ritual in the library basement before everyone graduates.

Davey extends a whispered invitation to six of the graduate student library assistants. He explains that the ritual will involve chanting, reenactments, spirituality and drugs. The ritual requires that the participants fast beforehand, causing some to drop out. No longer having enough participants, Davey extends invites to Soraya’s boyfriend Kip a PhD candidate—an undergraduate student who can provide the acid they will be dropping—and to an undergraduate studying science. Davey now has seven students, the perfect number for the ritual.

Things don’t go as planned. First the lights go out and the group is pitched into darkness. Participants phones won’t work in the basement and the building is undergoing a scheduled routine maintenance that renders the computers inoperable. The students take the drugs and are ready to begin the ritual when Kip walks off. When he finally returns, he is staggering and gurgling. As Kip falls to the ground dead, the students notice he is covered in blood. The remaining six are now locked in the library basement with no way out, high on acid and paranoid that one of them is a murderer. As the evening slowly progresses the body count rises.  

What is happening? Who will survive? “That Night in the Library” blends academia and horror, establishing a spooky atmosphere in a story that will keep readers guessing until the book’s final, unpredictable twist at the end. Those who enjoy novels with an odd mix of characters, told from multiple perspectives delivered in a creepy setting are certain to enjoy this read.


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