That is all I can say after reading this book.
I had every intention of waiting to review this book in the new year but I feel the need to write this review as a sort of “Public Service Announcement”; this book needs to be added to the TBR list of everyone! It was absolutely addicting and heart pounding. It made my skin crawl.
The Devil Crept In, the February 2017 release from Ania Ahlborn, follows a young boy, Stevie, whose best friend (and cousin), Jude, goes missing. Sick with worry at the loss of his only friend, Stevie begins his own search into what happened to Jude when he went into the woods. Deer Valley, the town where the boys reside, is no stranger to tragedy; a little boy went missing (and was murdered) years ago and animals in the town go missing often. Stevie continues his search and finds out that whatever is in the woods is a lot more sinister than he could even imagine. And when Jude shows up back in town, seemingly unharmed, Stevie realizes that this Jude is not Jude. Whatever evil lurks in the woods seems to have crept in….
This is going to be an incredibly hard review to write because, as always, it will remain free of spoilers. I am a huge fan of Ahlborn’s work, I have said it before and I’ll say it again. This is my favourite of anything I have read by her. Ahlborn is able to brilliantly write a piece that is both disturbing (to the point where you want to look away) and addicting. I couldn’t put this book down. This book, although filled with supernatural elements, never seemed to be unrealistic. It was absolutely chilling.
The novel is narrated in sections. The first part follows, Stevie as we learn a little bit about his backstory. He lives in a sort of “Hicksville” town with his mother and his abusive stepfather. He has a brother who teases him relentlessly for his stuttering. When his cousin goes missing, Stevie is devastated and vows to figure out what happened to him. I really developed a liking for Stevie and my heart broke for him during this first section. As he searches, he continuously comes back to an old, abandoned house in the woods. The second part follows the woman who lived in the abandoned house, the death of her husband and her longing for a child. The third section brings these two narrative perspectives together; Ahlborn blends together both stories so intricately that I was left speechless by the end.
This novel has a little bit of everything, for every reader. It contains some elements of every genre (supernatural, horror, thriller, mystery) and has such multi-dimensional characters. I truly became invested in each storyline.
I recommend this book to everyone and anyone. I am going out on a limb and, already, predicting that it will go down as one of my favourite releases of 2017. If this one is not on your list already, ADD IT and preorder it. You will not regret this read.
I voluntarily received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the author and publisher; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.