The town of Smith’s Hollow has suffered quite a few tragedies over the years. The eerie part is, no one seems to remember.
When two girls from out of town are found slayed in a backyard, literally cut to pieces, it does grab everyone’s attention. At least momentarily.
Lauren has grown up in Smith’s Hollow and now, just shy of her Freshman year in high school, she begins to sense something is severely wrong with their quiet town.
For one thing, her father was murdered in the woods just last year. His heart cut out of his body.
When she hears about the murdered girls, she doesn’t hold much hope for the police finding the culprit. They never solved her Dad’s murder.
Everyone just seemed to move on, but Lauren remembers and she wants to get to the bottom of it.
The thing I loved the most about this story was the atmosphere. The setting of Smith’s Hollow, that eerie small town vibe where you can instantly tell something is off.
Additionally, I found Lauren to be a likable character and the relationships within her family were interesting.
Since her father passed, her mother has been struggling and seems to take a lot of her frustrations out on Lauren. Nothing she ever does is right, her mom is always nagging at her.
Then there is Lauren’s little brother, Danny, who she loves dearly, but he’s a strange kid. He seems to know things he shouldn’t and he says the oddest things.
When Lauren begins to have visions as well, of a horrible monster and the murdered girls, she starts to investigate.
What is going on in Smith’s Hollow and what is her connection to it? Her first stop is her Grandmother’s house and boy, does she have a tale to tell!
There’s witches, there’s curses, there are sacrifices that need to be made.
Lauren sees it as her job to put an end to the madness. Along with a friendly policeman, a cute next-door neighbor and a roving reporter, Smith’s Hollow had better watch its back.
Throughout this story I was reminded of other stories. I felt Sawkill Girls, Strange Grace, The Devouring Gray and The Wicked Deep all rolled into one.
It was fun, I’m glad I read it. I love how Christina Henry’s mind works, but this isn’t my favorite of her books.
Lauren’s best friend, Miranda, drove me batty. I was hoping she would be the first victim, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
Also, there were some subplots I wasn’t as interested in and I found those portions dragging for me. I think I could have enjoyed it a lot more if those had been shaved back a bit, including the racist neighbor.
Overall, this is a solid story. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a dark atmosphere with some gruesome deaths steeped in mystery.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I adore Christina Henry and will continue to pick up anything else she writes!