US$ 14.95/CND$ 14.95
Rating: 4 Cups
Written in the first person POV, this is the story of fifteen year old Angelo ‘Angie’ Mazzone and his four friends; Peter, Scott, Michael & Adrian. The year is 1993 and a series of missing children brought about a dark shadow in the small town of Harting Farms. The first few were thought to be runaways, but as more and more went missing, the fear of the unknown began to spread. The papers dubbed him The Piper who lured the kids away. Angie and his friends witness the first dead body of a missing girl found which sets their imaginations running.
Adrian, Angie’s new neighbour, befriends him and tells him about a necklace he found which might belong to the dead girl. Adrian is an awkward teenager who is an amazing artist, while Angie is a budding writer interested in writing horror stories. Together they put their heads together and decide to investigate the missing children on their own. They set their base camp, ‘Echo Base’, in the forbidden woods of December Park. Each is assigned a job to do when not searching the park where the first body was found. Soon they are moving into further forbidden, dangerous, abandoned places like an underground tunnel, a spooky home, and an ancient school asylum which burnt down years ago.
What started out as a game for these adventurous teenagers, trying to act like adults, soon becomes something beyond their control as more kids go missing, a curfew is set for all underage kids, and someone is following Angie. When one of them is almost killed in a building falling apart in its seams, they decide to call it quits and tell Angie’s dad, a detective, everything. But one of them rebels; goes out alone and doesn’t come back. Too scared still to tell his dad the truth that he did everything he was told not to, Angie and his friends band together one last time to find their friend. What they find is beyond their imaginations and a terrifying fact that they just might not live to see the next day.
It took me a long time to finish this book. Not because it is too long (yes it is slightly) and boring (not exactly) but because it is intense. This is a story of strong friendship bonds, trust, how they have each other’s back through thick and thin and maturing. In short it reminded me of the old, uncomplicated days of being a teenager when we thought we could take on the world. I really enjoyed Angie’s interactions with all of them; how he worried, how he wrote, their pranks and how he tried to overcome other problems in life like trying to connect with his dad who never got over his elder son, Charle’s death, etc. The story starts off slow focusing on the kids and their lives before finally picking up space. There are twists and suspense, some scary scenes you can expect from a wannabe horror fan built into the story every now and then to keep the reader hooked. The last twist is something I did not see coming at all. Mr. Malfii wraps the story up nicely in the end, though personally I would love to know what happened to all the characters in a few years or maybe a decade down the road. These are one group of teenagers I will not easily forget.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More