I really liked 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘯 last year and I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘴, but the writing immediately felt familiar.
It surprised me that this book had overlapping characters and places. This was mostly an entirely different story, but there were a few links to his first novel.
The story is told from both the past and the present. We hear from Paul Adams who recently returned home to visit his dying mother in hospice. He was also connected to a murder case in his youth. Through his eyes, the story unfolds in both the past and the present with Amanda’s perspective interspersed throughout. I didn’t feel like any of the back and forth felt jarring. One of the major plot points focuses on lucid dreaming, so there are times when the narrator is telling us about a dream or dream world in the past.
This book started off with an ominous feel. It immediately struck me as being darker than his debut because of the supernatural elements. I found the beginning creepy, and it had a little more gore. But that ominous feeling quickly dissipated, and I found myself interested in the mystery, characters, and town of Gritten Wood. The detailed descriptions really helped the story come to life.
The reason this book is not quite at five stars is that it was slow, especially towards the middle. It seemed like the author added a few contrived events for shock value. Luckily, the book picked up for me in the last section, and I really liked the way the author wrapped everything up. I wasn’t expecting the ending.
My favorite part of both this book his last are the deeper themes that are explored. I think that this sets North’s books apart. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.