Disappearance at Devil's Rock

Disappearance at Devil's Rock

by Paul Tremblay


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A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale, a blend of literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror from the author of A Head Full of Ghosts.

A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare,” raved Stephen King about Paul Tremblay’s previous novel. Now, Tremblay returns with another disturbing tale sure to unsettle readers.

Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her thirteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.

The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend Tommy’s disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration: the local and state police have uncovered no leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he vanished, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock.

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connects them.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062363268
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly online, and numerous year’s-best anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his family.

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Disappearance at Devil's Rock 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But will leave you with a lot of questions
Samantha1020 More than 1 year ago
I don't even know how to begin sharing my thoughts on this book. It was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime in the near future-that is one great way to describe it! I went into this book expecting a thriller and you could definitely describe it that way. But it was also one of the most dark and disturbing books that I have read in a very long time. I tweeted about this book at one point while reading and I think that this describes it best: a dark and haunting read that was not always easy to read but hard to put down. That describes this book so perfectly in my opinion. I cannot tell you how horrifyingly real I found this book at times especially when the author talked about the way that this young boy pulled away a bit from his mother. Here she thought that she knew everything that was going on in his life and to find out otherwise was just terrifying for her. As a mother myself I can't even begin to tell you how hard this was for me to read. There were quite a few times where I just wanted to stop reading and set this book down. The author made this book so readable though and I just couldn't. I needed to see what was going to happen next even if I didn't really want to know. I don't know how to explain it any other way. From the very beginning of this book, the author created this feeling where you know something bad is going to happen but you don't know what or how (well you kind of know if you read above summary but you are left wondering what else might happen). That feeling intensified throughout the entire book. It was so creepy and I was honestly worried at one point that I might end up with nightmares from this book. That is how spooky I found it to be. There were just all of these questions that the author was creating in regards to Tommy and what had happened that dark night.....it set such a dark tone and feeling to this book. I can't describe it any other way. The ending of this book had me reading at such a frantic pace because by that point I was so invested. I don't even know if I can share my thoughts on the ending in a way that makes sense without spoiling anything for anyone? It was good- very good and I felt that it fit with the story that the author had been telling perfectly. I was left with a few questions which really made me wish that I could discuss this with other readers. If you've read this book, please let me know what you think about the ending of this book! I want to know! It has been close to a week now since I've finished this book and I'm still thinking about it. That should tell you something! Overall, I feel like this is a book that made me want to read more by this author. It wasn't an easy read especially for me as a mother of a pre-teen boy. It is one of those books that won't be for everyone and that is okay. I think that you should probably go into reading this one in the right frame of mind. Think Gillian Flynn and how dark her books can be. That's a decent comparison in my opinion although two very different kind of writers. The darkness of subject matter though is why I say that. I myself will be reading more by this author in the future for sure. I will also be waiting a decent amount of time and will mentally prepare myself. Ha! Funny but so very true. I would recommend this one but with a word of caution. Be ready for a dark and haunting read! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from publisher.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I read "A Head Full of Ghosts", and loved it, but moved on to other authors. Then, I read this one, and I am completely hooked. Wonderful prose, completely believable, and thoroughly disturbing. Fantastic.
LEH0644 More than 1 year ago
Three boys entered the woods of Borderland State Park and headed to Split Rock, renamed Devil’s Rock. Two boys returned home while the fate of the third boy is unknown. Park rangers and state police searched extensively for the missing boy but it wasn’t until the boy’s diary was found and read that police learned another person was involved. The two boys finally admitted that the other person was an adult who had bought beer for them and had them commit a deadly crime. But where was the missing boy? I had high hopes for this book after reading various reviews but was very disappointed and thought it was a terrible book. Why would a grown man want to pal around with middle schoolers and why would they want him to be part of their group?
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Excellent Contemporary Suspense Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every parent fears late one summer night: Tommy, her thirteen-year-old son vanished without a trace in the woods of the state park that is nearby. Elizabeth and her eleven-year-old daughter, Kate struggle to understand and comprehend Tommy’s disappearance as the search isn’t yielding any answers for them. Their sorrow is compounded by both anger and frustration and making them feel both alone and helpless. The local police nor the state police have been able to uncover any leads. Josh and Luis, are friends of Tommy and also the last to see him before he vanished. They may also not be telling the whole truth about the night they were in Borderland State Park where they said they were hanging out at a landmark they renamed Devil’s Rock. Elizabeth is completely unprepared when a series of strange events follow as she is living in all-too-real nightmare. Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadowy figure that seems to be peering through their windows in the dead of night and if that wasn’t bad enough Elizabeth is convinced the wraithlike apparition she saw is of Tommy that materialized in her bedroom. Suddenly random pages torn from Tommy’s journals start to mysteriously appear. The entries also reveal a teenager that is introverted and obsessed with the phantasmagoric. One that is also obsessed with the father he lost, a father that was killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier. Tommy is also completely fascinated with the folktale that involves the devil and the woods of Borderland and the coming zombie “pocketclips” and a horrific incident that Tommy is convinced connects them all. As the search continues and grows more desperate the implications of what happened become more ominous and sinister and no one is prepared for the shocking truth of what exactly happened that night at Devil’s Rock. This is a story that stays with the reader long after they are finished. As each chapter unfolds new details in the lives of the characters it brings to vivid life the nightmare of what a parent and family faces when a child disappears. The book also takes the reader on a roller coaster of a ride that is full of twists and turns and will have readers scrambling to figure out just what really happened the night Tommy vanished. The twist ending is one that readers will never see coming.
Brittany_Ptrs More than 1 year ago
I received an advance copy of Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock in exchange for an honest review, and here it is... When I receive ARCs I want nothing more than to love them. After all, the author spends (sometimes) years writing and developing the story, creating a mini world and caring for his or her characters. Because of this, I want to develop a love for their story and characters too. In the case of Tremblay’s latest work, I just couldn’t bring myself to even like his novel. To begin, I found his writing style awkward. It was a little too raw for me. The characters weren’t well developed enough for me either. Throughout the book, I found myself asking, “Why did she do that? Why would they react that way?” These questions weren’t ever fully resolved. Of course, writing this, I realize both of these devices help create the mood of suspense and uncertainty in Tremblay’s novel. The glaring reason I disliked this book was the violence. I’m just not a violence lover. Violence disturbs me, especially the type found in this story, and I’m not sure why anyone would want to read about violence. There were whole pages in Disappearance that I couldn’t read. Whole pages! Noting this last point, it’s obvious Disappearance at Devil’s Rock was not written for an audience such as myself. However, I will admit that I did enjoy one point of Tremblay’s novel. I loved the open ending. In my opinion, this is how all books should end – with questions, and uncertainties. There is never a definitive answer, just a direction in which the story could continue. This is how books linger with us, and become living, breathing works. If you like suspenseful, psychological, serial killer type books then this one is probably one you would love! Go read it! I recommend it to you, but only you. Anyone else who reads it will have to take a few days to do a brain wipe by binge watching Fuller House or something else fluffy like that, much like I’m about to do!
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
Paul Tremblay's A Headful of Ghosts was a 5-star read for me last year, so when I received an ARC of Disappearance at Devil's Rock, it immediately jumped the queue and went to the top of my TBR pile. I should have left it at the bottom. Disappearance at Devil's Rock was so disappointing that I hate to see it shelved next to its fabulous predecessor. From the beginning, Tremblay made some stylistic choices which I found at first annoying and then downright irritating. First were the chapter headings, reminiscent of Dickens, which summarize the key events of each chapter, from "Elizabeth and the Call" (Chapter 1) to "Elizabeth Talks to Dave, Dinner for Two, Notifications at Night, a Fight, a Sketch" (Chapter 10) to "Elizabeth and Kate and the House and the Notes" (Chapter 15, the book's last). A fascinating article in The New Yorker on the history of the chapter explains that such headings were originally intended as "finding aids: devices for quickly locating specific material in long texts that were not meant to be read straight through." While this device comes in handy when I read the 800 pages of The Pickwick Papers, I still have sufficient memory skills to handle the 336 pages of Disappearance at Devil's Rock without the author's help. Second was Tremblay's decision to tell the story of Tommy's disappearance in present tense, with regular flashbacks to earlier events. I suspect the use of present tense was intended to make the reader feel a part of the search for Tommy, but I found it artificial and strangely emotionally distancing. Third, and most irksome, was Tremblay's innovative (to me, at least) method of conveying dialogue, not with the standard, "Tommy says …" but with the character's name followed by a colon - a quirk which reared its ugly head on page 18 and progressively worsened until Tremblay was writing conversations like this one after Josh spills his drink: Luis: "You need a straw or a sippy cup?" Tommy: "Chirps!" Josh: "I'm gonna be all sticky. Bugs will be all over me now." I felt like I was watching an old pinball machine, as the conversational ball bounced from friend to friend. I could echo the complaints of other Goodreads reviewers, such as Teri's "repetitive writing"; KC's "boring and unnecessary" dialogue; and Jessica Weil's "wish [that] the pieces of this story came together in a more satisfying way." Instead, I'll simply put down my pencil and go find something better to read. I received a free copy of Disappearance at Devil's Rock from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
After reading the eerie and creepy A Head Full of Ghosts, I jumped to request this title when I saw it was by the same author. This author nails the young teen boy mentality and has a firm grasp on the insecurities of middle school. I laughed several times at the conversations between Tommy and his friends. As a mother, I could certainly identify with Elizabeth and the devastation and helplessness she felt after her son’s disappearance – it’s a parent’s worst nightmare. This book will certainly make you question if you really know what your kids are up to. I also found it interesting how different family members deal with Tommy’s disappearance. As with the author’s first novel, this story also contains some spine-tingling, tension-filled, look-behind-you-and-make-sure-you’re-alone moments. You’ll also want to make sure your window blinds are closed. I literally couldn’t turn the pages fast enough in some places. On the other hand, I also felt as if some of the writing was repetitive – reading about the same scene from a different POV – and found myself skimming through those sections. This is an author to watch – I’ll be looking for future books by him. Highly recommend to fans of supernatural thrillers. Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cbyrn,b, cm Ctuto .yorul