Everything the Darkness Eats

Dreamscape Media. Jun. 2023. 5:28 hrs. ISBN 9781666634372. $17.99. HORROR
LaRocca’s (They Were Here Before Us) first full-length novel offers listeners equal doses of small-town terror and cosmic horror. Henley’s Edge is a small Connecticut village with some unusual residents. Its most unsettling resident is Heart Crowley, an enigmatic man who knows real magic and has a nefarious plan in mind. However, the horrors seen by police officer Nadeem Malik are more terrestrial: a rash of missing-persons cases he’s investigating, and violent homophobic attacks directed towards him and those he loves. That means it might be up to recently widowed Ghost Everling to stop Crowley. The novel almost feels like two stories on parallel tracks: Ghost trying to outwit Crowley, and Malik trying to protect his family. The cosmic horrors and seemingly idyllic setting of Henley’s Edge feel like Stephen King in his prime, while the extreme brutality and human-sourced horrors that are seen in Malik’s plotline will make listeners cringe. Throughout the novel, André Santana’s narration breathes life into all the characters, particularly likable everyman Ghost and seductively sinister Crowley.
VERDICT Two terrifying storylines come together in an inventive and haunting tale that explores whether love and forgiveness can exist in a pitiless universe.
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