Getting creeped out by a good book is always fun.

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Twenty-five years ago, a group of teenage friends find themselves being manipulated by Charlie Crabtree, their troubled and devious leader. Charlie and Billy Roberts take part in a gruesome murder and Charlie disappears while Billy confesses. Several copycat murders have taken place and there are signs that Charlie may be behind them. One of the group, Paul Adams, left the gritty town of Gritten as soon as he turned 18. The pain of the murder and the loss of a friend was too much for him to remain. But he returns as his mother appears to be near her end.

The story is told in two timelines. In the past, we learn about Charlie and his manipulation over Paul and his friends Billy and James including a strange plan to control events through a dream state. We also learn of the threat of Mister Red Hands. In the present, Paul is still haunted by the murder while he discovers that he still has much to fear. Detective Amanda Beck (who we met in North’s The Whisper Man) is investigating one of the copycat murders and travels to Gritten to learn more about the original murder.

The Shadows is a good blend of mystery, thriller and horror. A satisfying twist occurred that was great. I liked The Shadows very much – just not as much as The Whisper Man, which I loved. Still thrilled to have had the chance to read an advance copy courtesy of BookishFirst and Celadon Books. Definitely worth reading – it comes out July 7, 2020.