Publication Date: July 7th 2020 ~ Genre: Thriller-Mystery, Horror
I won an ARC copy of this book via bookishfirst.com
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…
Reading on, beware of spoilers!
Picking up The Shadows is returning to the ominous world of the Whisper man. Detective Amanda Beck is called to duty again to solve a gruesome murder, eerily resembling the murder of a teen 20 years ago. These are not typical murders, however, these murders more accurately resemble sacrifices.
Paul is the POV the reader is introduced to in the beginning of the book. We follow him through his early teen years and the events of the first murder. In those early years, Paul finds himself thrown into the delusions of a teenage boy, Charlie. Only a fierce loyalty to his friend, James, keeps Paul involved in Charlie’s plot to bring his world of imagination terrifyingly to life. Though James can’t seem to remove himself from the group of found friends, Paul is eventually pushed too far and leaves the group and his friend for good.
In adulthood, Paul is still running from the trauma experienced in his childhood. All Paul could hope for is to wipe his memory clean of the murder and the events leading to the murder. Paul returns to his hometown to visit his dying mother, as she is admitted to hospice. Everything comes flooding back and Paul must choose how involved he wishes to become as he learns even his mother was connected.
One drawback I experienced while reading this book is an absent connection to the characters. I wished the characters were a bit more developed but I understand the possibility of an unreliable main character may have clouded the process. Also, this book can be confusing. I got to a certain point, learned something new and then was like, wait, how did those previous events occur? I had to go back and reread chapters but I still feel confused. I’m interested to see what others think of these chapters. Please click the little comment icon at the beginning of this review to tell me about your experience with this book. I’d love to chat about it.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Shadows. Alex North never fails to set a suspenseful tone in his books, which propels the reader through the chapters. His descriptions of the environment and how it affects the characters causes the reader to sit on the edge of their seat while reading, absolutely sure something heinous is about to occur at any moment and that’s usually the case. 😉