You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree, 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 more than one copycat.
... assured ... North has an eye for moments of skewed dailiness ... These visual details are so effective that the more explicit beats of foreboding feel extraneous. The set-piece scenes — that school fight, a visit to a suspect’s house — are beautifully paced and surprising. As in his debut, The Whisper Man, North is aware of how a good horror novel can subtly rearrange a reader’s surroundings, charging them with menace, and he nods to the tradition with references to The Monkey’s Paw and The Shining ... absorbing, headlong reading, a play on classic horror with an inventiveness of its own. In the third act, a revelation upends both the entire narrative and its emotional valence. Such a major double-cross is risky. Somehow, though, the twist comes across not as a metafictional, authorial intervention, but as the work of a character struggling to survive a grinding loss. As with all the best illusions, you are left feeling not tricked, but full of wonder.
I do not recommend reading this book at night, especially in the first two hundred or so pages, because it is frightfully atmospheric! I was genuinely afraid I would have nightmares after reading this impressively creepy novel of suspense. I was most struck, however, with how this twisty tale of ghostly terror incorporates both a tragic coming-of-age with a meditation on the parent-child relationship. From Paul’s realization of his mother’s vibrant past to the grief of parents over a lost child to Amanda’s own reconciliation of her career with her deceased policeman dad’s, The Shadows examines all the ways we cope with the loss of a loved family member ... I truly enjoyed reading this novel ... It’s not often that you find a solid murder mystery cleverly melded with supernatural horror. It’s rarer still to find those written with as much finesse and true emotional insight as in The Shadows.