creeptastic – excessively creepy and/or scary
What a disturbingly creepy book! Are you looking for your next horror read? Well, if you are, now you’ve found it!
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.
That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen…the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.
After a few unsuccessful psychological thrillers, I thought I’d change up the genre, and on Sam @ Clues and Reviews recommendation, I read The Devil Crept In. Thank you, Sam, this book was creeptastic!
This story is told in three parts. In part one, Jude is missing and his cousin and best friend, Stevie, is determined to find him, even if it means entering the woods alone and going near the scary house hidden among the trees. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot for fear of spoilers but this is one hell of a creepy story! Made even more so, as both boys are only 10 years old, Stevie’s innocence contrasted against the unsettling narrative Ahlborn has written is what pulls you into this story. In this first part, nothing is in your face scary but rather, it creates the feeling that something scary is coming. Have you heard the phrase ‘the anticipation of fear is often worse than the fear itself?’ Well, that’s what I thought, until I reached part two!
This next part gives us a backstory, telling us about the house in the woods and the creepy old women who lives there – it had me shuddering, I don’t know what kind of strange, twisted, can I even call it human, roams that woods but I sure as hell am glad this story isn’t set in England! Ahlborn grips you with her writing style, you may flinch once or twice but you can’t help but read on. And the more you read on, the more on edge you feel. This is not a thriller but it has that same addictive feel to it, you keep on turning pages in your ‘need’ to know what happened to Jude, all the while dreading actually finding out.
The last part of the book brings parts one and two together to make for a great ending, while not loosing any of the creepiness from the earlier narratives. What I really liked about this book was, you’re essentially told two different stories in the first parts but Ahlborn was able to bring them together brilliantly at the end without the story ever feeling disjointed. This book has elements of the supernatural but you’re so caught up in the fright, you don’t even register the unrealistic-ness of that element.
If you’re a fan of horror, or looking to try something new, this book needs to be on your radar. I’m looking forward to reading more of Ahlborn’s books.
*Thank you to the author (Ania Ahlborn) and the publisher (Gallery Books) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*