A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale, a blend of literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror from the author of A Head Full of Ghosts.
“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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Enjoyable but buy in print
This book is good but the digital version does it no justice. Typos throughout. Also, there are hand written excerpts that make up an essential part of the story and they are practically impossible to read on an iPad. In short, I would like a refund and if I get one, I'll buy the print version. Ridiculous.
Wait for it... then keep waiting...
I can be forgiving, I can. But boy, this book... it’s... ah... it’s a slog, with absolutely no payoff. I mean, you’re just waiting, and waiting, and waiting, knowing something big is coming down the line that explains what the hell is going on- the mysterious visitors, all the talk of zombies, the real secret of Devil’s Rock. And then, nothing. Just a “can see it from a mile away” cliff-hanger ending (sigh). This is the type of book that when I read the acknowledgements at the end, I get angry at the people who encouraged the author to, “keep plugging away at this one — it’s really coming along!” If you’re like me, you loved Head Full of Ghosts, and you’ll be extremely disappointed you gave this a try, and kept giving it tries, and kept waiting, and waiting...
Having read another one of his books which I thoroughly enjoyed, I happily bought this one without much thought. That ended up being a mistake. The story itself is boring (and in no way should be considered in the “horror” genre) and the writing is clunky. There are several pop culture references that the author feels the need to explain to the reader which is distracting. If you think your reference is so obscure (plot twist, they aren’t) that you need to explain it to your audience, maybe don’t use it? The handwritten notes throughout are extrememly problomatic in the digital version because they are difficult to read. Even the revelation at the end of the novel is boring and in no way shocking. Honestly, I hate read the last 100 pages in hopes of getting to the end quickly and hopefully finding some redeeming quality/point to the story. Sadly, it did not come.