I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I liked this book at the end, since I wasn’t very intrigued at the beginning. The suspenseful thriller started slow, and though it left believable characters, I kept trying to guess when the action would happen, slightly bored and expecting your typical “boogeyman” story. I’m glad I hung in there until the end, however.
Duffy introduces the Tierney family- Ben, Caroline, and their sons Charlie and Robert (Bub for short). After some trying times while living in the city, fate appears to give them a chance to start over , reviving an old mansion in upstate New York into an inn. The couple try to adjust to life in a small village, and attempt to mingle with the locals to gain their support of the mansion renovation. Many are intrigued, but others seems distant, even hostile, in their welcome. Undaunted, the couple press on in their efforts, despite the creepy feeling emitted from the old mansion and surrounding forest. Their son Charlie, however, can’t seem to stay out of the forest, and starts playing a “game” with its unofficial occupant dubbed “the Watcher” until one night when the game goes to far.
While reading the first 250 pages of this book, I was really expecting the stereotypical horror thriller- after all, Duffy had plotted many of the elements. The remote village location, the creepy old house, the “thing” living in the forest nearby, the odd village behaviors… all elements carefully placed to keep you expecting a scare. But Duffy did well on the delivery of the scare, and that was the twist I didn’t see coming. By the 300 page mark, I was flipping through the pages, reading as fast as I could to see what happened next. It was so gripping, but paced out so that not everything was exposed until almost the very end of the book. And then, the very last chapter, Duffy changes the point of view to where you think he’s talking to the reader, and all I could do was shout in my head “Wait, what happened?!”. He’s good, ladies and gentlemen.
Since I don’t want to give anything away that I haven’t already, all I’m going to say is this: If you’re curious, pick up the book and get to reading.