Disappearance at Devil’s Rock: A Novel
Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock is a mystery/thriller that will keep you awake at night, jumping at shadows darker than night.
Tommy and his friends Josh and Luis decide to sneak out of the house during a sleepover and head into the local state park of Borderland to visit a place known as Split Rock. It should have been a simple matter of adolescent boys being boys, getting up to the usual trouble. Instead, only two emerge from the woods, strangely reluctant to be entirely forthcoming about their activities. Are they merely rattled by fear, or do they know more than they are telling?
Meanwhile, the missing boy’s family is growing frantic the longer he is missing. After seeing shadowy figures lurking in her house, the mother, Elizabeth, becomes convinced her son is dead and she is seeing his shade. She also begins finding pages from her son’s “Mental Droppings” journals. Discussed in disjointed fashion within these pages are his accounts of his and his friends’ meeting a mysterious man named Arnold, who tells them the legend of Devil’s Rock. Things begin to get creepier, laced as they are with threads of the supernatural. However, when the truth is fully revealed, it is at once tamer and infinitely more terrifying than what we are initially led to believe.
This book was written in an unusual style I’ve not come across before. It is third-person present tense. I found that a bit difficult to process at first, but I got used to it soon enough. Another unusual tack of the author is to occasionally write dialogue like a screen script while at other times using standard dialogue tags. All of this together make Tremblay’s writing style very unique indeed. One thing I did find difficult was parsing the diary pages. My vision isn’t the greatest, so that’s where the difficulty lies. However, my partner had gotten the same book on Kindle, and I was reading that one night when I’d misplaced my hard copy. The diary pages were nigh on impossible for me to read on the Kindle.
I recommend this book to those who love psychological thrillers and paranormal mysteries a la Session 9 and such X-Files episodes as “Paper Hearts.”