Stephen's family returns to his father's hometown in search of a fresh start, but the town's dark history threatens to swallow them whole.
Stephen's father swore he'd never return to the tiny, backwater town of Spencer, Michigan, but excessive hospital bills have forced his hand. So Stephen finds himself living with his grumpy grandmother and distracted father, worrying about his sick mother who remains back home. He distracts himself with beautiful local girl Cara and befriends her twin brother, Devon. He also investigates the town's mysterious legends, most of which involve murders and gruesome winged beasts. The author expertly sets the tone of a small claustrophobic town where everyone knows everyone else's business and no one wants outsiders digging too deep. Nagging dread permeates the narrative, casting a shadow over even some of Stephen's happier moments. His budding romance with Cara is smartly paced, resulting in a solid couple that feels fresh and rounded when compared to other teen couples in horror books. The novel's final pages will surely shock readers: The author takes great glee in not just presenting a great reveal toward the end, but also twisting the knife. Keen-eyed readers may spot the twist, but few will predict just how far it goes.
A slick, spooky, chilling mystery. (Horror. 12-16)