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.
“You don’t have to be a parent to feel the paralyzing fear that Paul Tremblay evokes from the very first page of Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. As Tremblay unravels his plot with a dexterous and knowing hand, you will feel fear – you are in the hands of a master armed with the tools to scare you silly. But you might be surprised at how much compassion and love Tremblay bundles along with those scares, which is the hallmark of a true writer.”−Nick Cutter, author of The Troop and The Acolyte
“A deliciously grim study of the shadowy borderlines between the Gothic and the suburban, between the fantastical and the dreadful, between the mystifying world of childhood and the cataclysmic world of adulthood. From the first page to the last, you are reminded that the most sinister peril is the one lurking just outside your window – or just behind your eyes.”−Joshua Gaylord, author of When We Were Animals
“Once again Paul Tremblay gives us one of the best books of the year. Fueled by breathless tension and beautiful melancholy, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock reminds us that we make our own demons, and that ghosts are only one of the things that can haunt us. Bravo!”−Christopher Golden, author of Snowblind and Dead Ringers
“A brave and desperate woman faces the devil every parent fears most – a child lost (or taken) – in a heart-rending and utterly compelling tale of the sinister. Paul Tremblay writes exquisite, empathic horror of the highest quality.”−Joe Hill, author of The Fireman and NOS4A2
“A poignant study of modern families and the crimes of absence. Insidious. A sleep-robbing mystery that keeps digging long after you’ve finished the last page, long into the night.”−Sarah Langan, author of The Missing and Audrey’s Door
“Tremblay wields terror and mystery like instruments of delicious torture. This guy knows where to stick the knife to make it hurt.”−Chuck Wendig, author of Zer0es and Blackbirds
“This tense, quick-moving story, part mystery and part folktale with a dash of police procedural, moves between points of view that offer tantalizing clues and moments of discomfort. The result is a satisfying piece of fiction that shifts genres underneath the reader.”–Booklist starred review
“Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts) uses concise prose and smooth storytelling to evoke raw emotion in this tale of love, loss, and terror. Sympathetic characters and heartbreaking struggles replace genre stereotypes and tropes. The menacing atmosphere captures small-town isolation and hopelessness. This stunning and tantalizing work of suggestive horror is sure to please admirers of Stephen King and Peter Straub.”–Publisher’s Weekly starred review
8 responses to “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock”
I have a “booktube” channel on YouTube. I recently gave a glowing review of “A Head Full of Ghosts.” Seriously, there are nights where I go to bed and I still think about that book. That is how you know a book is good, when you can’t get it out of your head after you finish. I would love to do a review on this newest novel, to get my subscribers hyped up about this new release!!! I am seriously obsessed with Paul’s writing style and the eery, creepy, amazingness of his books. I am sure “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock” will not disappoint.
Hi, Page! Thanks for the kind words for A Head Full of Ghosts. I really appreciate it. I am currently out of Disappearance at Devil’s Rock galleys however.
Whoops, hit reply too soon. Anyway, thanks again for commenting and booktubing! I hope you like Devil’s Rock if you get the chance to read it!
I love your work, man! Both HFOG and DADR were great reads! I saw a video of you online talking about your inspirations and early novels read (i.e. Stephen King, Peter Straub, etc.). Very inspiring for a young writer with a similar academic background (in that there wasn’t a focus on writing, per se). Do you heavily plot your stories or write them “organically” in the way Stephen King does (this was mentioned in his book On Writing)?
Thanks for the kind words, Michael.
I’ve done both. With A Head Full of Ghosts, I had the main frame of the story in my head from the start and just kind of went along with it. I wrote a plot summary for Devil’s Rock before starting the book. But that changed quite a bit as I went. Devil’s Rock had more of a mystery structure to it and I’m not good enough to make up a mystery plot as I go…
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed DADR! It was particularly fun for me, as I grew up in North Easton (not too far from Borderland!) and I have a work connection to Oakes Ames (ahem, I mean “Eastman.”). I also enjoyed Head Full of Ghosts & look forward to reading your other work.
Thank you very much, Gretchen! Hey, so cool to have someone with an
Ames connection to read and enjoy the book. 😉
I am in love with your novels! I have finished A Head FUll of Ghosts and Disapearence at Devil’s rock (each within a week; I couldn’t put them down!). I really look forward to reading more of your work!!
PS: is there going to be a sequel to DADR??? I didn’t want it to end!