THE WILD DARK

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Liz Raleigh is staying alone in a cabin in the middle of the New Hampshire woods, 30 miles from the nearest town, so when she hears footsteps on the porch late one winter night, she can’t help but go into cop mode. She’s not on the force anymore—she left her job at a coastal Maine police department after her actions unintentionally led to the death of her partner, Brody Aritza. Then her relationship with her photographer fiance fell apart, and now she’s hiding out in this remote cabin, trying to clear her head. But that’s easier said than done. Local New Hampshire forest ranger Hank Feld is sniffing around for a missing person—a man who happens to look a lot like Liz’s dead father—and she has been imagining that she sees and hears Brody everywhere. Or at least she thinks she’s imagining him. Then things start to escalate. Liz and Hank get in a car accident when a shadowy figure steps into the road. She staggers to the nearby ranger station, where she finds broken furniture and a lot of blood. The people in the nearby town erupt in panic. It turns out that the ghosts of the dead have come back to walk the Earth—and they’ve brought some very bad things with them. Silva’s prose writhes with angst and urgency, as here where Liz witnesses the chaos in town: “Cardend was a throbbing heart of anarchy. Mothers and fathers sprinted down the road toward us, cradling their children. Others yanked them behind like rag dolls. A man in an oily jumpsuit smashed a car window with a crowbar on our left. I slowed the Jeep, trying to make my way through the human thicket.” The author mixes horror and crime elements with some imaginative worldbuilding and a satisfying psychological element. Though they at times adhere to type, her characters are well defined, and the audience will have no trouble getting caught up in Liz’s emotional plunge through the dark. Readers will look forward to seeing what lurks in the next volume.

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