From Paul Tremblay, the author of A Head Full of Ghosts, comes a contemporary psychological suspense concerning a family shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy.
“A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare,” raved Stephen King about Paul Tremblay’s previous novel. Now, Tremblay returns with another disturbing tale sure to unsettle readers.
Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her thirteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.
The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend Tommy’s disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration: the local and state police have uncovered no leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he vanished, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock.
Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connects them.
As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock.
Intense emotions of fear and alienation carve direct paths to the supernatural in this tightly plotted and atmospheric novel. Young Tommy's disappearance in Borderland State Park, Mass., near haunted Devil's Rock, throws his mother, Elizabeth Sanderson, into a maelstrom of guilt. Townsfolk start seeing shadows at their windows, and Tommy's friends Josh and Luis grow anxious, reluctant to discuss the night when he vanished. Meanwhile, Elizabeth encounters Tommy's ghost in her bedroom and receives mysterious notebook pages that reveal sinister connections among Tommy's father's death, a stranger named Arnold who Tommy met at Devil's Rock, and a macabre folk tale. Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts) uses concise prose and smooth storytelling to evoke raw emotion in this tale of love, loss, and terror. Sympathetic characters and heartbreaking struggles replace genre stereotypes and tropes. The menacing atmosphere captures small-town isolation and hopelessness. This stunning and tantalizing work of suggestive horror is sure to please admirers of Stephen King and PeterStraub.
I enjoy this book. The subject was intriguing and the plot well written. There were a couple of times that the writing was confusing. I don’t want to spoil it for others, but one of these times was the bathroom scene in Arnold’s house.
But, all in all, a good read.
Great Characters and Premise, too long in places.
This book is far less of a “creature feature” and far more of a well written drama and tragedy. I really enjoyed this read because the characters were belivable as people and the supernatural elements were not overplayed, but my only hesitation is that it felt a little long in places. It could be more concisely trimmed, especially the first half of the book.
This book takes its time getting where it’s going, but that makes it all the better at the end. Love how some questions are left to the reader to figure out on their own.