by Alex North
Genre: Horror Suspense
Publisher: Celadon Books
Book Release Date: July 7, 2020
“This is absorbing, headlong reading, a play on classic horror with an inventiveness of its own… As with all the best illusions, you are left feeling not tricked, but full of wonder.”
– The New York Times
The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and suffering from dementia, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Paul learns that Detective Amanda Beck is investigating another copycat that has struck in the nearby town of Featherbank. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…
My Review:The Shadows by Alex North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Consider me officially creeped out.
After having read The Whisper Man, I knew I’d be getting my hands on this book, and sure enough, I selected it for my July 2020 Book of the Month pick as soon as it went up. Then I was graciously and awesomely provided a review copy of the Audiobook from the publisher via Netgalley, so I read along to the hardcover while listening to this one for total creeptastic immersion.
The book itself was great, and the dual narration was fantastic. We got a then and now timeline with our main character, Paul, and we got Detective Amanda Beck’s present day narrative with some copy cat murders happening that pull them both back to that frightening place and time it all began.
You have, in the Then time, a spectacularly creepy kid, Charlie, who is written so well with this calm and eerily controlled demeanor, the way he smiles this smile like he knows something you don’t. Then there’s The Shadows, which are the woods by Paul’s house that seem to move around you, like the woods itself were a character. There’s a faceless man with bloody hands haunting their dreams, and of course, the murder victims.
In the present, you have Paul’s dying mother he’s finally come back to see when she goes into hospice, and she’s rambling eery things from her dementia induced stupor. You have old voodoo dolls and dead kids’ dream journals popping up, and red hand prints on walls, and the distinct feeling of being watched. Not to mention the people still alive back then slowly being picked off one by one in these gruesome ways.
Woo! It was a lot! I had to stop reading when it got dark out because I was legitimately spooked. The book was done so well, you could hear the sounds and see the sights. Amazing.
I really liked the narrators of the audio. I listened at 2.00 speed. Very well done.
View all my reviews