Title: The Third Person
Author: Lisa Tuttle
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror
Dates read: 10th November 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: “I have to meet Andrew at Ikea in thirty-five minutes, but that should be plenty of time for a coffee,” Rachel said, with a hug and kiss Imogen was not quick enough to avoid.
Imogen has always been the third person in her friends’ marriage. Now she’s the third person in an affair, but could things be far more sinister than even she realised?
I’m writing this review the morning after I read this story. And I can tell you, that of all the ghost stories that I’ve been reading recently, this is the one that made it really hard to sleep last night. After all, the final scene is of a knife and someone running in the help that they can defend themselves… it was seriously open-ended and made me stop to think about who has access to my house.
This whole story left a bitter taste in my mouth. From beginning to end. Not only because it features an affair, but all of those other little moments and hints throughout… I can’t imagine being a third person / wheel in someone else’s life, and this just made it all that much more… creepy. There were just way too many stalkerish vibes throughout this story.
All in all, this was seriously creepy and uncomfortable. But it’s also a bit of a reminder of some of the dangers and pitfalls of being a woman. Yup, sometimes it just seriously sucks…