The Shadows by Alex North
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…
It was my brother who took me to the police station.
There is no denying that Alex North is a talented writer, and I am now more inclined to pick up his debut novel, The Whisper Man. It received a lot of buzz when it first came out, but I just never got around to it.
There is no denying that The Shadows has moments that are downright creepy, but I think I was expecting a little more. The book was slower paced than I find typical for thrillers/mysteries, and I wasn’t as engaged in the story as I was hoping.
That said, there were some twists that caught me completely off guard, and I thought that the lucid dreaming element was fascinating. It could have so easily been cheesy or unbelievable, but I thought it worked.
There were also different timelines that had the potential to be confusing, but I found they added to the intrigue of the story. I also think the audiobook, which was excellent, helped to keep track of everything.
Overall, I had mixed feelings about The Shadows, but I have no regrets about reading it. It was a good escape and sparked my curiosity about lucid dreaming! I would definitely give Alex North’s work another chance.
Have you read The Whisper Man and/or The Shadows? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you Netgalley for sending me an ALC in exchange for an honest review.