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.
Lauded author Ahlborn (Within These Walls) delivers a beautiful and deftly wrought horror story of mothers, sons, and the delicate bond between cousins. Ten-year-old Stevie Clark of Deer Valley, Ore., is a word-salad stutterer with one friend in the world: his older cousin Jude. When Jude goes missing, Stevie is the only one who takes it seriously, and he knows the creepy house in the woods must be involved. Despite an uninterested town and his own fear, Stevie embarks on an investigation that convinces him there's a monster lurking in the woods. The real horror comes when Jude abruptly returns and Stevie must accept that he may still have lost his friend. With sympathetic attention paid to the relationships between overwhelmed mothers and the sons they can't save from evil, and prose that elegantly evokes tension while illustrating Stevie's rich inner world, readers will be engrossed and thrilled right through to the chewy final twist.
Awesome book! Definitely recommend.
Had trouble putting this one down.
Ania Ahlborn is not only a phenomenal author of what is considered, a genre hard to tackle with seriousness or originality, but she is also one of the first female authors to do so as proliferate as Stephen King (at his pace, she still has years). She is definitely not the first female horror/psycho thriller author, but may well be on her way to one of the greatest. Of any gender...
Isolated, at home with COVID-19, her books (this being the 4th I’ve finished in a week), have been my saving grace. She allowed me to escape the walls of my monotony and travel to other geographical locations on our beautiful continent, as well as, the dark recesses of the human mind with all its possibilities. Thank you, Ania, and please keep writing!!!