Summary (from Goodreads):
“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.
Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her fourteen-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 his disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. The local and state police haven’t uncovered any leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were with Tommy last, 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— rumored to be cursed.
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 own 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 connected them all and changes everything.
As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened becomes more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock.”
Sweet baby Jesus, this book. First, like an idiot, I started it at night. I don’t know if you’ve read Paul Tremblay before, but it’s not a good idea to start them before bedtime. (I’ve read A Head Full of Ghosts; I should’ve known better.)
So then it’s 1 a.m. and I am tired but I don’t want to sleep because all I can think is, if I wake up and see someone at the window or out of the corner of my eye, I am going to lose my mind and probably die of fear.
And did I mention that when I’m tired, I actually DO tend to see things out of the corner of my eye? Not ideal, guys.
This book is absolutely chilling. I spent most of the book not sure exactly what was going on or who was telling the truth. I’m not sure I know now (and you should know that the ending is not a tidy one that resolves everything). The whole thing feels a bit like a fever dream: very vivid, very weird.
I may have more sleepless nights but they’re worth it. Paul Tremblay is amazing, guys. He’s one of my new favorites. Highly recommended.