Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride’s daughter, Caroline, goes missing—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.
As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: a summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart missing. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls.
It’s your turn.
With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.
This book was one of my most anticipated books of the year. When October came around, I knew I had to use my audible credit to purchase it because I couldn’t wait for a hold from the library, and I definitely couldn’t wait for the next day to grab the physical copy. It was a cold, chilling evening, and I had to start this book that very night. And I’m so glad that I did.
Immediately, I was drawn into Adams’ world, intrigued to understand the mystery behind the missing girls and how our main character would unravel the mystery within. Given the engaging synopsis, how could I not? There was a slow build as the story progressed, which I enjoyed. There were themes such as social horror, racism, and classism that were horrifying but important to read.
As you progress, the story only gets better and better. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was satisfied with the ending. I recommend reading the physical book as the middle of the book was a bit slow, and I think I may have enjoyed reading the hardcover copy even more. And I think this would have been a good one to tab, highlight, and write notes.
I highly recommend you pick this one up before October 31st, but of course, check out the content warnings and the themes. Horror readers: add this to your TBR.
This Book in Three Words
Impactful, Atmospheric, Haunting
- Social horror
- Missing girls
The entire ending – you’ll want to hold until because that last quarter of the book was so chilling!
Writing Style: 3.5
Plot Development: 4
Numerical Rating: 4 stars
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