The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

A slow burn worth the effort.


The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
Audiobook Released: February 2017
Horror Fiction
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An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.



This story starts out a little slow but it’s of the slow burn variety that builds into something terrible and terrifying so I didn’t mind too much.

Stevie's best and only friend, Jude, wandered out into the woods near their home one day and never came home. No one besides Jude's mother and Stevie seem terribly upset about it. Jude was an unlikable sort, sure, but the lack of interest in finding him is a little bothersome so Stevie decides to investigate on his own. He and Jude had spent endless hours in the forest doing what boys do in the woods and came upon a creepy old house. Stevie is certain that house has something to do with Jude’s disappearance.

This story is a mishmash of many horror-ish things. It’s a coming of age tale mixed up with remnants of King’s Pet Sematary and a splattering of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but it’s totally its own story. What is eventually revealed is horrifying, disturbing and very gruesome and could give you nightmares if you think about the images too much.

I enjoyed the slow unraveling of this story and watching how the origin of a nightmare begins. Stevie was an interesting kid, struggling with a disorder that makes him a target and growing up with an assholish step-dad. He’s determined to find his friend and later he’s unafraid to stir up a little trouble to get at the truth. There’s a side story that I won’t reveal that absolutely captured me where one very unlucky woman is faced with a moral dilemma like none other I’ve ever read and I felt for her. She only wanted love but she got something else entirely!

A word of warning, if you need one, there are deaths in here and many of them happen to innocent little beasts but it’s all part of this story and felt like an awful, natural progression of one of the characters.

If you like your horror gory and creepy then this one’s for you.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley!

Comments

  1. The slow start and animal issues would make this something I wouldn't want to read! Great review!

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    1. The animal issues were rough. I'm glad I knew about them going in.

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  2. I'm kind of intrigued that the main character/investigator is a kid. That alone could get me past some of the darker gore and horror.

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    1. He was a very well developed character with lots of struggles of his own to overcome besides all of the crazy outside stuff going on around him.

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  3. I had a lot of the same thoughts. It did start slow but then it really picked up and I enjoyed it in the end. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Carole! I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

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  4. I don't mind a slow start. You almost scared me off with the warning about deaths. I still want this one!

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    1. I was warned beforehand otherwise it would've really bothered me.

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  5. I enjoyed this too. Have you read Brother? It's even better!

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