Monday, June 20, 2016

Disappearance At Devil's Rock: A Novel - by Paul Tremblay - An emotionally charged novel of quiet horror

5 of 5 Stars      Review copy

Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel is a gut-wrenching story of every parent's nightmare.  A day when their child does not come home.  This time it happens in the Sanderson family, where the mom, Elizabeth, is doing the best she can, raising soon-to-be-fourteen-year-old Tommy and his almost-twelve-year-old sister, Kate.

Please give me a moment to explain what Disappearance at Devil's Rock is not.  This is not a gore fest of a horror story. This is not an "and they lived happily ever after" fairy tale.

What Disappearance at Devil's Rock is is a solid tale, deftly told, of one family's response when one of their own goes missing.

One of the things I liked about Paul Tremblay' story-telling is his familiarity with what his young characters are into;  Minecraft, Instagram, Snapchat and Tommy's obsession with the zombie apocalypse or as he refers to it in his writings, the zombie pocketclips.

The writing itself is a cut above.  I got a kick out of their Nana referring "to the two of them as Mutt and Jeff.  Kate has no idea what that means, what the reference is from, and whether Mutt or Jeff is the short one."  It's the small things like this that take a good story and elevates it to an even better one.

Disappearance at Devil's Rock is just as draining for the reader as it is for the characters in the story, and that's the way it should be.  By the end of the novel nearly every question is answered.  There are a couple of secrets left untold, but as a whole this was a very satisfying read.

Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel, published by William Morrow, is available in hardback, paperback, e-book, and multiple audio formats.

Paul Tremblay is the author of A Head Full of Ghosts, The Little Sleep, No Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey's Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones).  In addition he is the author of the short story collection In the Mean Time. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous "year's best" anthologies. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan).  Paul is the president of the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards.  He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and has a master's degree in Mathematics.  You can find him online at

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