Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Shadows by Alex North

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...

TITLE: The Shadows
AUTHOR: Alex North
PUBLISHER: Celadon Books
PUBLISH DATE: July 7, 2020
ISBN: 1250318033

The Shadows by Alex North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alex North’s second novel, The Shadows hits you with its eerie creepiness before you even open the book! Look at this cover! If The Shadows didn’t already have me at the cover, because I’m easy that way, the summary is what really drug me in further.

“You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile – always on the outside of the group.”

That’s a big cup of hell yeah from me. If you’ve read the summary, you’ll see that Charlie Crabtree committed a murder most heinous and then disappeared without a trace. What happened to Charlie? This is the big question and when similar murders begin occurring with the same MO there are questions if Charlie is somehow involved! Yikes!

What I really loved about this book is the glimpse it gives me into the main character and narrators life, Paul Adams. Paul isn’t really the most likable guy at the start. Neglectful of his mother for years, you get the sense that maybe he’s a bit selfish and self-centered but as the story moves on, it’s clear why Paul avoids his home town. Speaking of Paul! Ah, Paul, you unreliable narrator you! The other character we hear from is Amanda Beck, a detective following the recurrence of gruesome murders that lead her to Paul and the events that occurred 25 years in the past.

This story is told in alternating timelines; present and 25 years ago, not always my favorite but once I got used to the format, it worked for the story. There are twists in this story, one that really threw me … like really threw me! Ok, more like two! There is a supernatural element that is present and yet, I’m still uncertain if it was just the result of an unsettled mind. I’m still thinking about this and remain undecided.

I completely enjoyed The Shadows and will continue to devour everything that Mr. North pens! 

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