Everything the Darkness Eats

CLASH Bks. Jun. 2023. 202p. ISBN 9781955904278. pap. $16.95. HORROR
Adding a cosmic twist to the small-town horror trope, LaRocca introduces readers to Henley’s Edge, where evil, both human and supernatural, has taken hold. Local cop Malik is investigating the disappearance of senior women while simultaneously facing violent, homophobic attacks in his own home. Heart Crowley is a rich funeral-plot salesman, and then there is unlikely hero Ghost, a young man grieving a huge loss. He’s literally stalked by guilt. With scenes of palpable fear, deep-seated trauma, and visceral villainy, this remarkable novel will move readers through every possible emotion, with language that by turns brutal and beautiful and with expertly built, messily realistic characters. The story is undeniably full of shock and disgust but also seeks to elevate love and allow humanity to shine through.
VERDICT LaRocca (They Were Here Before Us) has seen viral success with their shorter works, but their first full-length novel demonstrates their growth as a writer. A perfect example of how writers from historically marginalized communities, like Hailey Piper, R.J. Joseph, and V. Castro, are actively mining the horror of their personal experiences to create terrifying, original, and emotionally resonant works that speak loudly to readers.
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