Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
2nd Place – 2016 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Horror YA and Adult Novel
2nd Place – 2016 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Horror YA and Adult Series
It has been seven years since Hughie Jones disappeared while trick-or-treating. At the time Camm was eleven and Hughie’s older brother, Cal, was eleven and a half. When Hughie fell, Camm’s attention was focused on a little girl who was standing in the street while a car was coming toward her. When Camm finally returned to look for Hughie, he was gone and she figured he went back to his father. Unfortunately that was not the case and he was never seen again.
All this time Camm has felt responsible for what happened. She also feels the Searles mansion which is rumored to be haunted had a connection. When another child disappears, an FBI Agent, Linda Allen, comes to Trona, California to investigate the disappearance. When she asks Camm for her assistance, Camm finally sees a way to get inside the mansion. Nothing incriminating was discovered but that wasn’t enough for Camm. She found a way to keep the door from locking and was ready to return that night to search for herself. Camm was not stupid enough to go herself and dragged Cal and his dog, Ginger, along.
Cal isn’t taking anything seriously until they go down into the basement where they discover Hughie’s ghost costume covered in what appears to be blood. Then at the stroke of midnight something comes after them, something they are unable to see since their flashlights go dark. Ginger is ready to protect Cal and Camm and attacks whatever is chasing them, only to become a victim. Making it barely outside to the car carrying Ginger in his arms, Cal is determined to kill whatever is living in the mansion and he is ready to go it alone, something Camm has no intention of allowing.
The beast that is after them is a giant green rat. Even though they go armed with guns, nothing seems to be able to stop it. Once again they manage to get out with their lives, only Mr. Samuel the plant manager in town doesn’t. Children will continue to disappear if this monster isn’t stopped, but how do you stop it? There are many questions about this mansion, how does it always appear spotless when no one is caring for it? How did the monster get there? And after some investigation on their own, it is discovered that many children have disappeared over the past fifty years and the government is hiding something.
Although this is a young adult book, it still gave me goosebumps, and believe me I am far from a YA. There is no explicit sex or vulgar language. The authors kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I highly recommend this book to everyone and I look forward to the next book in the series.