The Shadows

Celadon. Jul. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781250318039. $26.99. THRILLER
Twenty-five years ago, near the English village of Featherbank, which served as the setting of North’s debut, The Whisper Man, there were four boys who weren’t really close. But three were outcasts at school and the fourth, Paul, tagged along to protect his friend James, who was in the thrall of the group’s leader, Charlie Crabtree. Charlie came up with an idea: they would all keep dream diaries, using them to make their dreams converge; then they could control events in the waking world and avenge themselves on their tormentors. Eventually, three went into a dark woods, the Shadows. Only one came out; a mutilated corpse was left behind. The one who came out went to prison, but Charlie Crabtree disappeared, never to be heard from again. Now Paul has come home—his mother’s dying, he hasn’t seen her in 25 years—and bad things start up again. There’s a copycat killing in the woods. Someone follows it on the Dark Net. “Red hands everywhere,” his mother mutters. Paul searches for answers. Before this twisty story ends, there are many surprises, including who’s been killed and who killed them.
VERDICT The conclusion wraps it up too tidily, but overall, this is a successful, creepy thriller. If you like Stephen King, you’ll probably like North’s new thriller, too.

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