Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Date Read: January 31, 2017
An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.
That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.
I enjoyed this book overall. It was a rather slow starting book for me and I had a hard time really getting into the story at first. The whole first part of the book just didn't do a lot for me. The second section of the book picked up a bit and I found myself really getting interested. By the time, I got to the third part of the book, I was hooked and I couldn't wait to see how everything would come together.
Stevie is a 10 year old boy living with his mom, step-dad, and brother, Dunk. He lives next door to his best friend, Jude, who is also his cousin. Jude is missing at the opening of the book and Stevie wants everyone to look for him a bit harder than they are. He decides to do his own detective work and does a little investigating of his own.
Everyone is searching the wood of Deer Creek for Jude. Jude and Stevie have always spent a lot of time in the woods, building forts and looking at that spooky house by the logging road. There always seems to be a lot of stray animals in and around the woods as well. In fact, all of the animals in Deer Creek seem to be in the woods instead of neighborhood homes and backyards.
A large portion of this book is told from Stevie's point of view. Stevie is young, scared, and confused by the things that are happening. He has echolalia which means that his speech patterns tend to have a lot of repetition. I think that the author did a fantastic job of showing how hard it was for Stevie to be taken seriously and get his thoughts out. Stevie is not a character that I ever really liked. I felt bad for him with his speech difficulties but I became tired of reading his repetitive speech.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a creepy story. This is the second book by Ania Ahlborn that I have read and while I didn't like it nearly as much as I enjoyed Brother, I found it to be a solid story. I can't wait to read more of this author's work soon.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley.
About the Author
Ania Ahlborn is the bestselling author of the horror thrillers Brother, Within These Walls, The Bird Eater, The Shuddering, The Neighbors, and Seed, and the novella The Pretty Ones. Born in Ciechanow, Poland, she lives in South Carolina with her husband and their dog