-Barnes & Noble Best Horror Books of 2017 Pick
-Runner-up for the American Library Association's Horror Book of 2017
"One of the most enthralling novels I've read in the last ten years. Dubeau is a force to be reckoned with." —Jerry Smith, Fangoria Magazine and Blumhouse.com
"This is the page-turner you've been looking for." —Barnes & Noble
The village of Saint-Ferdinand has all the trappings of a quiet life: farmhouses stretching from one main street, a small police precinct, a few diners and cafés, and a grocery store. Though if an out-of-towner stopped in, they would notice one unusual thing—a cemetery far too large and much too full for such a small town, lined with the victims of the Saint-Ferdinand Killer, who has eluded police for nearly two decades. It’s not until after Inspector Stephen Crowley finally catches the killer that the town discovers even darker forces are at play.
When a dark spirit reveals itself to Venus McKenzie, one of Saint-Ferdinand's teenage residents, she learns that this creature's power has a long history with her town—and that the serial murders merely scratch the surface of a past burdened by evil secrets.
Dubeau's (The Life Engineered) second novel reads like a super-cut of every small-town horror trope of the last 40 years. Eldritch horror in a cave? Check. Town leaders are actually a cult? Check. Creepy circus? Check. The story follows several characters as an ancient, bloodthirsty being, previously contained for decades, is let loose on the sleepy village of Saint-Ferdinand. It finds itself trapped again in a shed an actual, literal shed in the backyard of Venus McKenzie, a teenage daughter of hippies. She must find a way to kill the monster as others in the town try to track it down and use it for their own purposes. Subplots accumulate like snowdrifts in a blizzard; new characters are introduced just long enough to die messily or impart some important information. Dubeau's attempt at building suspense balloons the book into a chaotic clunker, with the word count of horror greats such as King or Straub but none of the heart.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is pretty engaging and hard to put down nearly all the way through. The prose isn’t fantastic and it starts off a little confusing, because it doesn’t share just how much even point of view characters know about the world around them until partway through. The hints of romance are really poorly done and should have just been left out.
Also when people talked about this book running off the rails toward the end, oh boy does it. I’d say it happens maybe 25 pages toward the end, with some really odd choices being made by the author.
What is good about this book is the monster, some meaningful character arcs, the twists, and some of the relationship development.
I dig it.