Favorite Books of the 2010s: Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

This is a series of reviews of my favorite books published between 2010 and 2019.


Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay (2016)

A mother gets a phone call in the middle of the night: while hanging out with his friends on a clandestine late-night trek to Split Rock in a nearby state park, her young son has disappeared. As she and her family deal with the shock and grief, Elizabeth frantically searches for answers, which start to appear in the form of pages from a diary she didn’t know her son kept, dropped without explanation on her living room floor. From his own words, she starts to piece together what happened on the night he vanished. Meanwhile, people around town have started seeing a mysterious “shadowman” peering in their windows late at night.

Since this is Paul Tremblay, there aren’t going to be any clear answers. I’m calling this a ghost story, although even that is not quite clear. Elizabeth, though, is clearly haunted by the specter of her missing son, and the visitations–whatever their explanation–are downright creepy. This book starts out a bit slow but gradually picks up momentum until it becomes unputdownable. Tremblay uses modern technology, such as webcams and social media, to good effect here. Although I found this book a little more confusing and a little less compelling than Tremblay’s previous A Head Full of Ghosts, it was still a creepy Halloween read.

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