Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, and his brother was gone. Five years later, Ben is still looking for his brother. He takes a night stock job at that very store, and he feels there's something very wrong there.
Bad Man is an atmospheric and unsettling novel, but not a perfect one. The plot, seen largely through Ben’s limited point of view, can be murky and difficult to follow ... Certain elements...are insufficiently developed. Yet the book works ... his ability to convey the grief, guilt and sense of loss that fuel Ben’s fixation gives the book a resonant emotional center ... It will be interesting and instructive to see what dark places he takes us to next.
The Shining set in a grocery store ... Red herrings and loose ends abound, and some readers will find the book lacks focus. But Auerbach is magnificent with atmosphere, able to conjure dread from a huge array of normally nonthreatening places.
Auerbach keeps the reader on unsettling ground with this nihilistic tale ... three stars out of four ... Auerbach cleverly weaves in the horror trope of creepy kids amid a vibe that’s best described as Stephen King meets Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in a Harris Teeter ... Despite some gallows humor and the occasional male bonding, the novel is wickedly effective in creating a feeling of doom ... Auerbach paints a chilling portrait ... Despite late plot twists that make the story unnecessarily convoluted, Bad Man delivers an unexpected gut punch.