Random House Publishing Group - Hydra
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Date Read: November 19, 2015
Fans of Stephen King and Bentley Little will devour The Beast of Barcroft, Bill Schweigart’s brilliant new vision of dark suburban horror. Ben thought he had the neighbor from hell. He didn’t know how right he was. . . .
Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.
First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.
Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.
Wow! I ended up enjoying this book a lot. I was in the mood for something a little different with a bit of blood and freaky stuff and this book filled that need perfectly. This story kept me guessing and I found it really hard to put down once all the weird stuff started happening. I ended up reading most of it in a single night.
This is the story of the Bancroft neighborhood. The neighborhood has that one house that is causing everyone trouble and Ben happens to live next door. The woman who lives at the problem house has created a bit of an animal problem for the entire area. She nursed raccoons back to health in her house, fed every bird in the area, and created a huge rat infestation. When she dies, you would think that things would get better but it doesn't. Ben's large dog, a 90 pound greyhound, is killed in his own backyard by an animal, possibly a cougar. This event starts a chain of events that will terrorize the entire neighborhood.
This story started out strong and really stayed strong throughout the story. There was a lot of action with quite a few bloody moments to keep things interesting. I will admit that I was really wondering where everything was going in the story which is a huge plus. I just love a book that is unpredictable and keeps me guessing. Some of the weird things that happen in this story are outside the realm of what would be considered normal.
I thought that the characters in this book were strong and likable. I think that anyone who owns a house in a neighborhood has that one house on the block that drives everyone crazy. Let me tell you...that house is a palace compared to the Bancroft house. I think that Ben has done much better than I ever could have with his next door neighbor. I did like how the author showed how the stress had had an impact on Ben. Lindsay works for the National Zoo and specializes in big cats. Her job and the way she deal with the situation were very well done in the story.
I really enjoyed this author's writing. The pacing of the story was well done with lots of excitement. The story seemed to flow together very nicely. The characters were average people and I found myself chuckling at their dialog at times. I love how the author worked a few movie lines into the story sometimes tweaking them to make it work. All in all this book was just a lot of fun.
I would highly recommend this book to others. It has just the right blend of horror, unexplained events, and even a few comical moments to keep the pages turning. This is the first book by Bill Schweigart that I have had a chance to read. I look forward to other book in the future from this author.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Hydra via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.