The shadows

Alex North, 1976-

Book - 2020

"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 mor...e 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 senile, 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. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. 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.."--

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1 / 2 copies available
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1st Floor FICTION/North Alex Due Aug 29, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Suspense fiction
Published
New York, NY : Celadon Books, a division of MacMillan Publishers 2020.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Physical Description
323 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250318039
1250318033
Main Author
Alex North, 1976- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* DI Amanda Beck, still recovering from the trauma recounted in The Whisper Man (2019), is called in when another horrendous event occurs in the ill-fated small town of Featherbank. She believes it to be patterned after a crime 25 years ago in which two teenagers murdered a fellow schoolmate in a vicious stabbing. One of the two was captured, but the other, Charlie Crabtree, seemed to vanish into thin air. Charlie was a malicious misfit who claimed to have supernatural powers heightened by the practice of lucid dreaming and has since developed an online cult following. The woods surrounding the town are known locally as the Shadows, rumored to be inhabited by the ghost of a suicide victim called Red Hands, which serves to heighten speculation. Both crime scenes were riddled with bloody handprints. Paul Adams has returned to the town for the first time since the Whisper Man case to see to his aged mother's affairs. The murderers and the victim were his friends. He expects to be uncomfortable but is totally unprepared for the terror that ensues. The reader can expect to be electrified by the author's total mastery of misdirection. This second stunning thriller firmly establishes North as a rapturous teller of tales. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Twenty-five years ago, near the English village of Featherbank, which served as the setting of North's debut, The Whisper Man, there were four boys who weren't really close. But three were outcasts at school and the fourth, Paul, tagged along to protect his friend James, who was in the thrall of the group's leader, Charlie Crabtree. Charlie came up with an idea: they would all keep dream diaries, using them to make their dreams converge; then they could control events in the waking world and avenge themselves on their tormentors. Eventually, three went into a dark woods, the Shadows. Only one came out; a mutilated corpse was left behind. The one who came out went to prison, but Charlie Crabtree disappeared, never to be heard from again. Now Paul has come home—his mother's dying, he hasn't seen her in 25 years—and bad things start up again. There's a copycat killing in the woods. Someone follows it on the Dark Net. "Red hands everywhere," his mother mutters. Paul searches for answers. Before this twisty story ends, there are many surprises, including who's been killed and who killed them. VERDICT The conclusion wraps it up too tidily, but overall, this is a successful, creepy thriller. If you like Stephen King, you'll probably like North's new thriller, too.—David Keymer, Cleveland Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The pseudonymous North follows up his sensational debut, 2019's The Whisper Man, with another terrifying spine-tingler set in Featherbank, England. When Paul Adams was 15, his school playground was the scene of the murder of one of his friends. The alleged killer, teenager Charlie Crabtree, was another friend of Paul. Charlie disappeared and was never seen again. After going away to college, Paul doesn't return to Featherbank until, as a 40-year-old English teacher, he decides he must come home to tend to his dying mother. To his dismay, history appears to be repeating itself with a series of copycat killings of teenage boys. Det. Amanda Beck, from the previous novel, investigates as the bodies pile up and suspects accumulate. Ghosts (real and imagined) continue to haunt Paul, whose senile mother fears something strange is in the house. The complex plot shifts smoothly between past and present with numerous unexpected twists. An overwhelming atmosphere of doom and disaster hovers over the perennial darkness of the nearby woods. This heart-pounding page-turner is impossible to put down. Agent: Sandra Sawicka, Marjacq (U.K.). (July) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"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 senile, 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. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. 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.."--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Forced by his mother’s failing health to return to the hometown where a misfit friend committed a shocking murder 25 years earlier, Paul learns about an investigation into a local copycat before realizing he is being followed. 200,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"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 TimesThe haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper ManYou 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...