The Clearing

( 4 )

Overview

“This childhood nightmare never went away…”

In 1971, four boys walked into a jungle. Only three came back alive. They blamed what happened on a mythical monster, but no-one believed them.

Forty years later, the truth is finally coming out…Journalist, Nate Mason, is one of the survivors. Haunted by memories he doesn’t fully understand, he returns to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to unravel the tragic events of his childhood. Back then, as the son of a diplomat, Nate was part ...

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Overview

“This childhood nightmare never went away…”

In 1971, four boys walked into a jungle. Only three came back alive. They blamed what happened on a mythical monster, but no-one believed them.

Forty years later, the truth is finally coming out…Journalist, Nate Mason, is one of the survivors. Haunted by memories he doesn’t fully understand, he returns to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to unravel the tragic events of his childhood. Back then, as the son of a diplomat, Nate was part of an elite social circle. This included the island’s “royal family”, the De Villiers, who owned a decaying mansion deep in the jungle, staffed by the descendants of slaves. It was here, during a weekend of whispered childhood secrets and dares, that Nate’s innocence was torn apart.

But Nate’s not the only one obsessed with the demons in his past. Within hours of arriving back on the island, he becomes convinced he’s being followed. But even though he soon realizes he’s risking his sanity as well as his life, he can’t stop himself from searching for the answers he came here to find.

Can childhood nightmares haunt you for the rest of your life?  How much do you need to believe in a monster for it to become real?

The Clearing is a dark and atmospheric psychological thriller, full of intrigue, terror and superstition, which examines our deep fear of the unknown.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
9/10 “Very impressive thriller that manages to fuse the mystical with the real, and keep you guessing til the big reveal.”
- So, So Gay

The Clearing is a dark and atmospheric psychological thriller, full of intrigue, terror and superstition, which examines our deep fear of the unknown.”
- Gumshoe Reviews
5/5 “I recommend to fans of thriller and mystery genres! It certainly has made my Top 10 Best Books of 2013, which I’ll post at the end of December. Read this book, you will not be sorry!”
- Elizabeth Stiert
I enjoyed this light read and kept going to the end. A little fantastic – yes.
- Beth’s Book Nook
“Told in lush, hypnotic prose that perfectly mirrors its mysterious Caribbean landscape, The Clearing is one man’s quest for the brutal truth at the heart of his deadly self-deception. Throughout, Dan Newman keeps the lines of suspense tense and razor-sharp. An intoxicating, important debut.”
- Laura Benedict, author of Isabella Moon and Devil’s Oven.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781909223523
  • Publisher: Watkins Media
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

The son of a globetrotting international aid worker, Newman, who was born in England, grew up on St. Lucia in the Caribbean, then in the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland in Southern Africa, then Canada, then England again, then Australia, and then...Well, you get the picture.

His education was similarly global; primary school beneath swaying palms in the Caribbean, secondary school in Africa at an international boarding school (witnessing apartheid throttle a nation across the border in South Africa), and then undergrad and grad school in Canada and Australia respectively. There were starts and stops on the career track, too.  He played semi-professional football in Africa, and had trials at a number of clubs in London – all of whom chose to callously snuff out his boyhood dreams. (It turns out the ability to actually control a football is quite important to those who manage these teams.)

To put himself through school, Newman spent time as a sweaty mover (be nice to those guys), a plant pot cleaner (less so to them), and a beer brewer.  Eventually, after taking a keen interest in journalism and heading to Australia to complete his graduate degree, Newman found a way to avoid doing any actual real work by writing copy for corporations. 

Later still, that became a career in corporate communications.  And that's where he finds himself today: in Toronto, Canada, plying his trade for a Fortune 500 company.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 7, 2013

    Have you ever met a person who was trying to make a point but th

    Have you ever met a person who was trying to make a point but they just kept talking in circles? That's how I felt about this book. The first few pages of The Clearing were shocking and intense - a great start. But for me, the story lost its momentum after it flashed back to present day and never seemed to regain that same energy.

    I wanted to know what happened to the boy who was killed in the jungle, but had it figured out before getting halfway through the book. The description says the boys blamed the death on a mythical monster and no one believed them, but that's not what happened in the story. They never talked to anyone about what happened and how the boy was killed was the secret Nate had carried for so long. A little misleading. The motive for the murder was obvious, but it never seemed to ring true for me. Without giving anything away, maybe a little more information about the character relationships and their background would have helped.

    The author's descriptions of St. Lucia portrayed a beautiful tropical setting, but I felt as if they sometimes overshadowed what was happening in the story. I enjoyed the interactions between the boys when they were younger and thought the author captured the mischievousness and dynamics of that age group very accurately. Nate had also experienced tremendous loss in his adult life and his emotions were portrayed quite well.

    Overall, I liked this book, but maybe if the description had been more accurate, I would have had different expectations before reading it.

    This review was based on a digital ARC from the publisher by NetGalley.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    A gripping story from start to finish!  I was definitely drawn i

    A gripping story from start to finish!  I was definitely drawn in by the lush description of life on St. Lucia and kept turning the page because of the intricate story line.  Also, the author kept ending chapters on a cliff-hanger and then I had to keep reading and find out what was going to happen!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2014

    I may sound like a broken record but I wish writers edited their

    I may sound like a broken record but I wish writers edited their texts or had someone who knows what they’re doing do so. This story jumps from the narrator’s past as a child on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia to his adult self’s recent past in the US to the present in which he has returned to his ghosts on the Island. The story begins with 3 boys looking at the body of a fourth lying by a body of water. It jumps to the death of the narrator’s own son and then has him return to the island to rehash ghosts of the past. The story jumps in nightmare fashion from the past to the present seeming to grudgingly give up its details. The story draws on the influence of rich island families, local voodoo, and superstition. The author keeps the reader in the dark as to the exact details of the murder at the centre of this story until the very end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Anonymous

    Really enjoyed this book. It hooked me from the first page and kept me wanting to get to the next chapter and then the next chapter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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