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SHADOW GRAVE by Marina Cohen


by Marina Cohen

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-250-78300-4
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

There’s something not quite right about the residents of the remote New Hampshire town in which three travelers find themselves stranded after a car crash.

“Leave now. While you still can,” hisses the dour old woman who comes to the door when a shaken 12-year-old Arlo Davis; his little sister, Lola Davis; and their injured mother, Heather Flores, knock. Others in the strangely quiet, carless, electricity-free town of Livermore seem hardly more welcoming…though there does turn out to be a rambling B&B to spend the night in and, during the day, a graveyard, an abandoned sawmill, and spooky woods to explore. Further thickening both plot and creepy atmosphere with overheard snatches of conversation about secret meetings; flashbacks featuring a child parading through town in a deadly, smallpox-infected dress stolen from her dying sister; references to a mass grave with an eldritch resident; and nighttime glimpses of weirdly glowing figures, Cohen dishes up another expertly twisted chiller—inspired, she writes, by influences including Tuck Everlasting (although it is very different in tone), Robert Frost, and H.P. Lovecraft and set in a real New England ghost town. Most of the cast (its human members, anyway) present as White; Heather’s surname may cue her as Latinx.

Shivery reading for under the covers…or, for that matter, in broad daylight.

(author’s note) (Horror. 9-12)