Twin forests on two continents seem to be haunting visitors and making them want to kill themselves.
Jack Wallace, widowed owner of a Polish restaurant in Chicago, receives some terrible news about his son Sparky’s closest friend, Malcolm. On a Boy Scout trip he took to faraway Owasippe Scout Reservation, all the Scouts and Scout leaders evidently killed themselves. Jack is shocked by this news and even more shocked that it’s not news to Sparky, who seems to have known it would happen. Although Sparky has always been a bit quirky, Jack puts much of that down to his Asperger’s diagnosis. Now, however, Sparky is consulting star charts and trying to predict the future. The two leave Chicago with Malcolm’s mother to claim the body and try to find some answers, but the forest reservation spooks them, and they’re troubled by the persistent sense that there’s something more in the woods. A séance Jack’s neighbor insists he attend connects him to a spectral voice (his dead wife?) that eventually connects him—as usual in Masterton, the logical steps are never very clear—to Dr. Krystyna Zawadka, who’s been investigating a disturbingly similar phenomenon in Poland. As Jack and Sparky travel abroad to find out if the danger is animal, human or something more, Sparky makes hauntingly accurate predictions along the way. One thing remains clear: Whoever sets foot in these forests is in grave danger, even from their own hands, until the truth can be found.
Typically creepy and graphic fare from Masterton, with an environmental spin that may herald a new direction (Drought, 2014). Given the final acts, this one clearly won’t be a series.