FREE DOWNLOAD ♶ The Shadows ⚔

After the runaway success of the creepy The Whisper Man, Alex North gives us this atmospheric follow up, with the return of Featherbank and Detective Amanda Beck 25 years ago, Paul Adams left the industrial town of Gritten, 100 miles north of Featherbank, for university to never return, making every effort to forget the murder of a classmate committed by Charlie Crabtree and Billy Roberts Paul had been in an uneasy friendship with them after his best friend, the bullied James, insisted on becoming closer to Charlie Paul became concerned about Charlie, who led them down the path of lucid dreaming and incubation, and into the strange and frightening fantasy of a shadowy man in the woods, with the red hands Whilst Billy was prosecuted for his part in the killing, the sinister Charlie disappeared, never to be seen again, turning him into a cult figure and legend, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps, as through the years, copycat killings have occurred.Amanda finds herself on the scene of just such a gruesome copycat killing of Michael Price, in Featherbank, nearly beheaded by Elliot Hick and Robbie Foster, aided by an online user posting as CC666, possibly the missing Charlie, with inside knowledge of the original murder The investigation has Amanda going to Gritten, where Paul, now a university lecturer, has returned, his elderly, dementia suffering mother whom he has not seen in all these years, suffered a fall and is dying His mother s initial comments, informing him it is in the house, bring back his haunted memories of the past Despite his desire to be free of the past, he is unable to escape, meeting his old friend, Jenny Chambers again, perhaps the time has come for him to confront what happened all those years ago In a narrative where further murders occur, red hands are everywhere, there are ghosts, and dangers that refuse to subside in the present.North writes a beautifully creepy and compulsive novel that immediately captured my attention with the oodles of tension and suspense I loved the fascinating look at lucid dreaming initiated among the boys by Charlie, a charismatic, self assured and menacing teenager Whilst this was a brilliant read, I did feel that North crammed too much into the novel, resulting in confusion, reducing the clarity and impact of the main storyline Nevertheless, this was an entertaining and riveting read that I thoroughly enjoyed Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC. Alex North s, The Shadows, is oozing with atmosphere The Shadows are the thick, dark, creepy woods behind the houses of Paul and his best friend, James If a person is not very careful, he can venture into The Shadows and never make his way out again Twenty five years ago, fifteen year old Paul and James, find themselves in the sights of Charlie Crabtree, a narcissist bully, and James, who is often picked on by his classmates, is in awe of Charlie, so when Charlie takes him under his wing, Paul has to hang around them just to keep an eye on James Charlie insists that the boys, along with Charlie s second hand man, Billy, start keeping journals of their dreams, so that they can develop lucid dreaming skills He also will lead them through The Shadows for hours at a time, and Paul goes with them only so that he can keep James safe We find that Charlie has a murderous motive and after the murder, Charlie disappears and Billy goes to prison for murder Now, in the present, Paul has returned to his hometown so he can visit his mother during her last days in hospice care At the same time, there has been a copy cat murder in another town, which leads Detective Amanda Beck to Paul s town so that she can see if there is a link to the murder twenty five years ago Paul had just wanted to forget what happened all those years ago but he finds that he can t forget because his mom s house contains things from those days and because things are happening around him, that point to that long ago murder Despite the fact that there were way too many characters for me, I wanted to know what happened in the past and in the present and why those things happened The book is a bit of a brain teaser with trying to keep characters straight and going back and forth between timelines Even so, it s a good kind of creepy when I go outside at night to feed my horses and my very own woods give me goosebumps, thanks to this story. FREE DOWNLOAD ♞ The Shadows ♌ The Haunting New Thriller From Alex North, Author Of The New York Times Bestseller The Whisper ManYou 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 Than One CopycatPaul 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 HomeIt 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 AgoIt Wasn T Just The MurderIt Was The Fact That Afterward, Charlie Crabtree Was Never Seen Again I have been hesitant to write this review because this book wasn t at all what I expected from this author I loved The Whisper Man, everything about it, therefore I was highly anticipating reading The Shadows Unfortunately, for me, it fell short Here s why.There are two timelines, the present and 25 years previous Now this isn t usually a problem but you have to add to this the fact that during these timelines they are constantly discussing and referencing lucid dreams which was what the young teengers had been doing 25 years ago when everything went wrong It was Charlie Crabtree who had tried to convince 3 of his friends, James, Billy and Paul, that if they did what he said they would be able to be in the same dream together While in this lucid dream state they could also make certain things happen Paul didn t like where this was all going and in the end he had abandoned their friendship and been seeing Jenny, a bright, pretty young girl his age They were developing a very close relationship, until everything went wrong So you have two timelines and a very large cast of characters There are the characters from the past and also a new set of characters from some copycat murders that have occurred recently There is also Amanda, a police officer, and her partner who are trying to unravel all of the mysteries and find out what, if anything, they have to do with the present murders.There were so many characters that I found myself having to write down each group, one from the past and one from the present Often it was hard to tell whether I was reading fact, or a lucid dream that Paul was having now or in the past.It was very, very confusing and the story didn t flow well for me There were also lots of questions left unanswered which I won t get into because you have to read the book to understand what I m talking about.From the blurb you know this about Charlie 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 than one copycat Paul had not been back to his hometown since he left to go to college He never visited his mother and he has a lot of guilt about that He has come back now to visit her in the nursing facility because she is dying While there he is staying in his old home, sleeping in his old room and having all sorts of dreams, feelings that he is being watched, hearing sounds in the house, etc He has also discovered secrets in the attic which his mother has been hiding all of these years.Oh boy this book was confusing I have given it 3 stars for an idea which I thought was a good one but along the way the writing just didn t work It took me 3 days to read this because I found myself constantly looking back at what I had read before I will continue to follow Alex North s books because I think his ideas are wonderful and his writing is usually stellar I m sure that there are others who will love this book, it just didn t work for me.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.This novel is set to publish on July 7, 2020. i haven t been able to concentrate on much lately i m living out some quarantine edition of Time Enough at Last, where i m prevented BY LAW from doing much than finally catching up on my reading and my writing about reading, and where my version of henry bemis broken glasses irony is this constant state of unspecific low level panic that keeps me flitting from one distraction to another, accomplishing very little.which is why i am so grateful to THIS BOOK for trapping me in a page turning headlock because although i didn t get to anything else i wanted to do that day, falling into a book and finishing it in a day is a pleasure i haven t experienced for a while i liked The Whisper Man, but this one is even better i found it unnerving in its premise with surprising reveals, and i loved the doomy atmosphere as it twists and twists and twists through all manner of disturbing images portentous dream journals, slender man ish teen stabbings, crime scenes covered in red handprints, shadowy figures lurking in the deep dark woods ooOOOOoothis book also has a richer emotional depth to its characters, specifically paul coming home after 25 years to tend to his dementia addled mother in hospice, returning to a past haunted house in a dying town full of horrible memories where in between numerous spooky threats he s forced to confront his past, his grief and guilt over all the decisions he did or didn t make in short this book is both scarier AND sadder than The Whisper Man, and those are the two buttons you want to push when book wooing me as far as the scary goes, i love creepy kid characters, and young cult leader in the making charlie crabtree is creeptastic, shepherding his impressionable fellow misfit friends into the practice of lucid dreaming the realm of a sinister figure called red hands who promises the boys vengeance and deliverance in exchange for a sacrificial murder the boys fulfill their part of the deal in a spectacularly bloody way and afterwards, charlie disappears, never to be seen again this fact catapults a gruesome crime into dark legend status, spread via internet and inspiring a number of copycat killings committed in the name of red hands over the next twenty five years.the sadder of it has nothing to do with any of the murders in the book which makes me sound like a monster, but if you re the type of person who gets sad over the victims in murder mysteries, it might not be the best genre for you this book is full of MY kind of sad nostalgia, lost love, guilt, missed opportunities, withered ambition all of that too close to home stuff i m even susceptible to now that i live like a tender veal this book s venn diagram of scary and sad, the point of intersection is paul s mother s dementia the sad part is obvious his guilt over abandoning her all those years ago and not coming back to visit until it was too late to connect is heartpunching but while deeply moving, dementia s slippage of time contributes to the suspense as she viscerally returns to past experiences, dredging up secrets and darkness and dangers, shifting unpredictably through time and memories, strafing paul with vague utterances and brief warnings without context It s in the house.ANYWAY, because of this whole concentration breakdown of mine, this review has already taken me a discouragingly long time to write so i m going to back away from it now even though i m not sure it s useful or coherent this book is good, i m sorry i am bad at words and thoughts right now 4.5 rounded up review to come to macmillan s reading insiders club for the ARC come to my blog Warning You are about to enter the unpopular opinion zoneif you can t handle it, you might want to leave Okay guys, I wanted to love it sooo much I really didbutit was just okay The Whisper Man rocked my socks last year I couldn t wait to get ahold of this book I figured I would be sleeping with the lights on for a week, at least Hence, no Charlie Crabtree is one disturbed dude, so were most of the kids in this town apparently Remind me not to visit Gritten anytime soon, even in my dreams Not only did Charlie murder someone and get away with it he changed life as they know it in this small town I was completely hooked when we started talking lucid dreams, I mean who wouldn t be The concept was totally fascinating I thought the premise behind this was very unique and creeptastic What I couldn t wrap my head around, is that it got very confusing There were multiple people in reality and dreams and often I couldn t keep track without writing it down I almost felt like I needed a dream journal myself.While I did enjoy it and there were some creepy moments, I didn t feel the tension and jaw dropping amazement as I did with the first book The ending seemed a bit rushed and left me going hmm okay Yet, there are fantastic reviews out there and people loved it Hopefully you are on that side of the fence I can t thank Macmillan Books enough for sending me a copy of this ARC for an honest review I am really looking forward to what Alex North dreams up next As this was not my favorite by him it doesn t change the fact that he is on my must read list Dreams are a patchwork, stitched together for the things that happen to us in our waking lives. 25 years ago, two teenage boys participated in a horrendous ritualistic murder One of the boys was apprehended, but the other, Charlie Crabtree, disappeared without a trace leaving behind a phenomenon that lived on in the dark web Linked to the crime, Paul Adams left his hometown and never looked back He s forced to return home because of his ailing mother and is unsettled to discover that there is a copycat on the loose and his mother seems to know about the murders and Charlie s disappearance than she ever let on As he starts digging into the past, he finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew his friends, his family, even himself. Told via alternating timelines with the sinister background of The Shadows the town s deep, dark woods, this story unfolds through revelations, piece by piece, we work out alongside Paul The atmosphere is dark and haunting and begs us to question can you ever truly escape your pastAlex North is a masterful writer His characters are so fully fleshed out, it s easy to lose yourself in them I really enjoyed Paul and how haunted he was by everything that took place that fateful year of his life It was easy to feel his sense of loss and regret and see how it affected his life My interest was very piqued by the concept of lucid dreams and how these boys were all so easily impressed upon by the sinister Charlie Crabtree Loved the twists and definitely didn t see them all coming I found myself looking back in shock at one splendid twist in particular I can t wait to see what Mr North writes next Thank you to Alex North and Celadon Books for sending me an early copy of this book to read an review. I think I ve come to the realization that, if I m only continuing with a book to see how it ends, then I need to put it down and move onMany thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy. 3.5 stars rounded up 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 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.I loved The Whisper Man That was such a great book I loved the first half of this book I love supernatural in my thrillers I loved the lucid dream premise It was so creepy and bizarre I thought it was clever I thought it was going to give me nightmares, but Thank God it didn t I thought the dual timelines were a little confusing for me and it took awhile to get use to it I thought there were to many characters to keep track of There also was a part of the book that I thought didn t add up I just loved The Whisper Man so much I was a little disappointed I thought that close to the ending that the book was all over the place Too much happened all at once I really did enjoy this book a lot It kept me flipping the pages to see what was going to happen next I just didn t love it I can t wait to see what what the author is going to come up with next I am excited to read it I want to thank Macmillan for sending me the free ARC of The Shadows by Alex North in exchange for an honest review. Was it strange to think of the dead as friends25 years ago, Paul Adams experienced the worst day of his life One of his friends was ritualistically murdered by two other friends Charlie Crabtree and Hague The police pick up Hague and he goes to jail but Charlie was never found Some say he s been living out in the woods ever since.Now, 25 years later, Paul s mother is suffering from dementia and takes a spill down the stairs in Gritten the hometown where the murder happened She s in hospice care and reluctantly Paul comes back to the town that haunted him so long ago The sky above was dark blue and speckled with a faint prickling of stars No answers to be found. Meanwhile, Detective Amanda from Featherbank stumbled upon a grisly ritualistic murder committed by two teens against a classmate She ends up tracing it back to Charlie Crabtree and Paul Through flashbacks, we learn that Charlie believed in lucid dreaming and that physical manifestations and murders are possible With Paul s nightmare s coming in faster and faster, he begins to wonder if Charlie was right all along What are you dreamingJust when I think the author couldn t top the Whisper Man, this absolutely GORGEOUS gem shows up Stunning.I loved how Alex North teeters on the edge of supernatural vs natural for his books it s so fun and a lil bit spooky to watch the characters navigate the world.I enjoyed how the two storylines came together with Detective Amanda and Paul circling each other and the events until they come together to solve the murder.The flashbacks worked really well Each time we went back in time, another kernel of truth was released The pacing was perfect for this.All in all, this was QUITE a fabulous book and I m so excited to have read it I received a free physical copy of THE SHADOWS by Alex North from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.