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A chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room—a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment. 

EARLY PRAISE FOR REPRIEVE

Reprieve is an eventual American classic that is unrelenting in its beauty and incisive cultural critique. But it is James Han Mattson’s treatment of his fully flawed characters that clutches my heart and head. Every room in this book has a secret room. Every character has a shadow trying to swallow them whole. I’m not sure there is ‘fearless’ American writing, but a few times a generation, there is innovative writing that appears to confront, shred, and accept the fears of its author and its readers with a wicked joy. Reprieve is that book. It really is.”

— Kiese Laymon, bestselling author of Heavy: An American Memoir

Reprieve takes horror as its subject, while also using the genre as its means, delivering twists and fright and the kind of storytelling that keeps you turning pages. But the brilliance of James Han Mattson’s novel is in deploying the haunted house as a metaphor for our nation, where the true scare is a cultural reckoning with whiteness itself.”

Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind

“Surprising and spellbinding, Mattson’s latest offering is a page-turner that keeps you guessing right until the explosive end.  Smart and entertaining, Reprieve is the rare novel that’s both thrilling and thought-provoking. A must-read!”  

— T. Geronimo Johnson, bestselling author of Welcome to Braggsville

“A timely, devastating story about intersecting lives drawn to a dark and frightening place. Rich with insights about our contemporary moment and characters blinded by their desire for belonging and connection, James Han Mattson’s Reprieve is the rare novel that will make your heart pound with terror while it aches with grief.”

Jung Yun, author of Shelter

“Reprieve is a tense, riveting novel about an American house of horrors where fear and desperate desire collide, exploding into violence. James Han Mattson writes with grace and conviction, delivering intimate portraits of flawed, fascinating people, down to the carnival distortions that occupy their minds.”

Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay