When Paul Adams was a teenager, a classmate of his was quite brutally murdered. Paul was arrested and accused of the murder.
His mother, who knew her son was innocent, fought like a dog to regain his freedom. Paul was innocent, but who were the real culprits?
It turns out that two of Paul’s one-time friends, Billy and Charlie Crabtree, were the killers. Of the two, Charlie was definitely the leader. Billy went to prison and Charlie, subsequently, disappeared into the local woods, known as The Shadows.
Having suffered enough in the public spotlight of his village, Paul moves away as soon as he can, leaving his mother behind. He doesn’t return for 25-years.
He only returns after receiving word that his mother, who is in poor health and suffering from dementia, has taken a fall and is now being kept in a nursing facility.
As you can imagine, returning to the village he fled so many years before, stirs up a lot of memories and emotions. Making matters worse, a copycat crime has been committed, bringing the brutal violence of the past to a whole new generation.
As with, The Whisper Man, I really enjoyed North’s writing and the way he chose to format the story.
We follow a couple different perspectives, as well as past and present timelines. I just feel like he makes such clever choices with his storytelling and I’m down for it.
There were definitely moments I didn’t see coming, as well as some solid red herrings.
I wasn’t crazy about the conclusion to some of the mysteries held within the story, but that is purely personal preference. It is no way a reflection on the skill of the writing or the book itself. There were just a couple of things, I personally wish would have wrapped-up differently.
Overall, this is a fun, creepy read. I love the is it paranormal, is it not paranormal feel that North brings to his work. That’s how I live my life and I love it.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Celadon Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint!