An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.
That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.
Character driven horror. Do I need to say anything else? My enjoyment level was at full capacity throughout this entire book.
The Devil Crept In is divided into three parts. The first part follows Stevie and Jude, cousins and best friends. Jude goes missing and Stevie is left trying to piece together what could have happened and where his best friend could be.
Part two follows Rosie as she raises her son Otto alone. Normally when a book suddenly drops one storyline for another, I'm left reeling, but that was not the case here. Despite the abrupt shift in the story, I was immediately sucked right back in.
I'm not even going to tell you what part three was about. You will have to read it yourself.
I'll admit there is a bit of a slow burn to The Devil Crept In, but I was too busy wallowing in the characters to care.
As always, the ending was not what I expected. With Ania Ahlborn I never get what I am expecting. That's my favorite thing about her books. Honestly, the characters could have all lined up and jumped off a cliff at the end, and I would probably still be recommending this book.
The Devil Crept In is really one of those books where it's best going in with a clean slate. I never knew what was coming, and it was one of those hand over mouth, wide eyed type of reads you just don't get very often.
I can't recommend this to everyone. If you are squeamish or can't handle bad things happening to good animals, turn around and run away. If, however, you've been craving some amazing character driven horror, you need to get your hands on The Devil Crept In (immediately).
9/10: Highly Recommended
Review copy provided by publisher