When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith’s Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions, in a chilling horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry.
When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won't find the killer. After all, the year before her father's body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can't just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.
Turning to all-out horror for the first time, dark fantasy author Henry (the Chronicles of Alice series) plays familiar tropes straight in this unoriginal tale of the evil that lurks just beneath the surface of an idyllic small town. It's 1985 and teenager Lauren diMucci's life in Smiths Hollow, Ill., is upended by the murder of her father. When two teenage girls are also found dead and in pieces Laura theorizes that the crimes may be connected to something lurking in the woods. When she goes digging into the history of Smiths Hollow she learns of her own surprising connection to the witches who once lived there and to a curse they cast that went horribly awry. Meanwhile, police officer Alex Lopez untangles a web of lies that obscures a sinister annual occurrence: the sacrifice of teenage girls to a malevolent supernatural entity. Henry writes with a keen eye for detail, drawing readers into the disturbing world with pitch-perfect '80s nostalgia and plenty of eerie atmospherics. Unfortunately, what should be heart-stopping scares fall flat, and the predictable plot twists will strike many as foregone conclusions. Seasoned horror readers will appreciate the prose but be underwhelmed by the story.