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Jackal: A Novel (edition 2022)
by Erin E. Adams (Author)
Jackal by Erin E. Adams
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Liz Rocher returns home to the small Appalachian town that she fled many years prior after a mysterious and tragic incident in the woods. Days after she arrives, her best friend’s daughter goes missing which leads Liz down a dark path investigating disappearances that have occurred for decades that just seem to get swept under the rug by the townsfolk. For the first 80% of this book, I was hooked. It was great. The in-between vignettes from the past victims were heartbreaking. I was invested, the writing was sharp BUT then the story just seemed to lose its way the last 20%. It was almost as if it was written by a different author or the scope of the book had changed and no one clued the reader in, hence the 3 stars. This is Erin Adam’s first book and I do look forward to seeing what she writes next! Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book!
A Black woman returns to the flood-scarred town reluctantly to attend the wedding of an old friend, but is caught up in a mystery when a girl goes missing - and she learns she's only the latest Black girl to vanish into the woods, one taken on every summer solstice.
For me, this was a mixed bag. I found the narrative voice compelling and the way the setting and its history was explored was fascinating. That said, I'm not a horror fan, and there is a strong element of horror and the supernatural in this story. Certainly the history of white supremacist violence is horrifying, and here the author uses horror to explore the nature of this evil. Interesting, but for this reader it didn't totally work. For horror fans, it would likely be a success.
A captivating work of horror that kept me changing my mind as to who the culprit was right up to the unexpected reveal at the end. As does the best of its genre, real life societal horrors merged with paranormal fears to manifest as an entirely credible nightmare.
A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white rust belt town. But she's not the first--and she may not be the last. . . . "A heady, page-turning, all-too-relevant reinvention of the return-to-home horror story--truly gut-wrenching and frightening."--Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Pallbearers Club It's watching. Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn't exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward, passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the couple's daughter, Caroline, disappears--and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood. It's taking. As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: A summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She's seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in Liz's high school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart removed. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can't be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town's history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls. It's your turn. With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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This book really stuck with me, The author did a great job of drawing vivid characters, especially Liz and her mom.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC! ( )