• Publisher: William Morrow (June 21, 2016)
A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale 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, which received widespread critical acclaim. Now Tremblay returns with another disturbing tale just as powerful and unsettling.
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 nearby state park.
The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her eleven-year-old daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend Tommy’s disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. Neither the state nor local police have uncovered any 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 at a landmark they have renamed Devil’s Rock.
Living in an all-too-real nightmare, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a wraithlike apparition of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadowy figure peering through their windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journals 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; the coming zombie “pocketclips”; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connected them all.
As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more ominous and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night at Devil’s Rock.
Tremblay deftly blends literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror into an absorbing tale that illuminates a parent’s darkest fears . . . and an adolescent’s darkest secrets. Eerie, thought-provoking, and soul-shattering, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock will haunt you long after Tommy’s final journal entry is read.
The setting is a small community, and the mystery takes on a bigger scale as the media comes into the fold. We are also given a glimpse into Elizabeth, the mother's, thinking. I thought hers was the most heartbreaking, and strong. Even trolls tried to lash out at her on the Internet and how she struggled internally with what was said, and what was happening around her at all times.
I enjoyed that the author put doubt in Kate's role in the story. To have a family member you think you can't trust when things are in chaos created some suspense part way through. I think the only thing that drug it down, for me, was the repetition and some of the long, drawn-out dialogue. The repetition being a description in Tommy's notebook and then the scene playing out through the p.o.v. of one of the boys and the fact that very few new discoveries were made during the repeated events.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Find out more about Paul at his website, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.