Review - Northwoods by Bill Schweigart @BillSchweigart @randomhouse #Hydra

Northwoods by Bill Schweigart
Random House Publishing Group - Hydra
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Date Read: February 7, 2016
Source: NetGalley

Some borders should never be crossed. From the author of The Beast of Barcroft comes a waking nightmare of a horror novel that's sure to thrill readers of Stephen King and Bentley Little.

Ex–Delta Force Davis Holland, now an agent for the Customs and Border Protection, has seen it all. But nothing in his experience has prepared him for what he and the local sheriff find one freezing night in the Minnesota woods.

Investigating reports of an illegal border crossing, the two men stumble across a blood-drenched scene of mass murder, barely escaping with their lives . . . and a single clue to the mayhem: a small wooden chest placed at the heart of the massacre. Something deadly has entered Holland's territory, crossing the border from nightmare into reality.

When news of the atrocity reaches wealthy cryptozoologist Richard Severance, he sends a three-person team north to investigate. Not long ago, the members of that team—Ben McKelvie, Lindsay Clark, and Alex Standingcloud—were nearly killed by a vengeful shapeshifter. Now they are walking wounded, haunted by gruesome memories that make normal life impossible. But there is nothing normal about the horror that awaits in the Northwoods.

This one ended up being okay for me.  I liked it but not nearly as much as I liked this author's previous book, The Beast of Bancroft.  I had no idea that this book was part of a series and still don't see it listed as such anywhere that I looked but it does feature many of the same characters.  Readers will probably be okay reading this one as a stand alone but they will miss out on a few references to the first book.

I was actually really happy to see some of the characters from The Beast of Bancroft show up in this story.  Ben McKelvie and Lindsay Clark were great together in the first book.  Unfortunately they spent more time apart during this story and I didn't like Lindsay as much.  Alex Standingcloud played a much more prominent role in this book and I really liked his character.  Some new characters were also introduced and I really liked Davis Holland a lot.

I think my biggest issue was that there was just too much going on in the book at times.  There were several different creatures show up in the book instead of focusing on one kind of monster.  The characters split up from each other and a lot of the action seemed to really be happening at the same time just to different people.  I like a lot of action but it seemed that when things started going in this book there wasn't even time to breathe.

I love the idea behind this book.  Everything that we believe is myth could be real.  I really enjoyed the focus on Native American legend in this book.  When I picked this book up, I was hoping for something bloody with a lot of action and it succeeded in both of those areas.  Some of the things that happen in this story really made my skin crawl.  I loved the creepy factor in this book.

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a really solid read with a lot of action.  The cryptid mythology that shows up in this book was really a lot of fun.  This is the second book by Bill Schweigart that I have had a chance to read and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

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.

About the Author

Bill Schweigart revives a bit of forgotten lore from the shadow of Washington DC in The Beast of Barcroft, his novel that finds a devilish creature stalking the residents of Arlington. Its sequel, Northwoods, will be available in February 2016. Bill is a former Coast Guard officer who drew from his experiences at sea to write his debut novel, the taut nautical thriller Slipping The Cable. Bill currently lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and daughter, who along with their monstrous Newfoundland and mischievous kitten, provide him with all the adventure he can handle.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. Sounds all over the place to me. I'm not big on this genre, and I can't remember the last time I actually read one like this. Great review!

    1. I try to read a little bit of everything. I think I would have really like this one more if there had been a little less going on.

  2. Hmm... well, I like being able to catch references from other books. So even if this isn't technically a series, I think I'd rather read the other book first anyway.

    1. It really felt like a series to me but it isn't listed that way anywhere that I could see. Fun books!

  3. Well it definitely sounds interesting from the blurb... Sorry you didn't love it!!

    1. I did like it which is good. A 3 star rating from me is a good rating.

  4. I hate when I pick a book and don't realize it is part of a series!! It has happened quite a few times with ARCs. Glad this still would work on its own though. Great review!

    1. It worked out okay for me since I had read the first book. I wanted to let readers know in case they hadn't. Thanks!


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