Disappearance at Devil's Rock

Disappearance at Devil's Rock

A Novel

Book - 2016
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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.

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062363268
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 24 cm


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ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 21, 2019

It's a slow burn but it did keep my interest all the way through. Not quite as visceral as The Cabin at the End of the World but still intriguing enough to keep me turning the pages.

Mar 29, 2019

Paul Tremblay's Disappearance at Devil's Rock is terrifying if you happen to be the mother of a son. Mine is twenty, and the way the author wrote Tommy and friends- the boys at the center of the disappearance- felt as true to me as anything I've ever read written in a teen voice. Elizabeth, the mother, and Kate, the younger sister, also ring so true that this bedrock of believably helps propel the subtle paranormal undertones of the story. The ending is crushingly predictable, yet satisfying.

sit_walk Oct 25, 2018

Incredible characterization, spot-on depictions of the teen and pre-teen protagonists, and a riveting story. Yes, it's a bit slow at times, but in a weird way that's part of the book's appeal. It's not a race to the finish but a careful unwrapping of the layers within layers of this mystery. I was reminded of Stranger Things at times, interestingly. Yet despite some supposedly supernatural elements, Tremblay”s story is a very real one with a very real resolution.

Jun 24, 2018

A disappointment after A Head Full of Ghosts.

This one focuses on the wrong characters and expects us to believe the boys capable of behaviour that clashes with what we are shown earlier in the book.

JessicaGma Dec 06, 2017

I was underwhelmed by this one - like cool twists but there was something missing to make it super thrilling. So it was okay, but there's far better in this genre.

Nov 12, 2017

I read about half of this book hoping something exciting, or even interesting would happen. It didn't. It is not a 'compulsive page turner'. It did not keep me up all night. I could put it down, and did.

Jun 24, 2017

Although this story built slowly, it was ultimately creepy and frightening if you're a parent or can imagine being one. It's so typical of kids that they seem to be incapable of telling the whole, truthful story. It has to be drawn from them slowly and painfully over a long time. I guess being a kid make you automatically secretive and a bit stupid. But, if kids were completely open & honest about their lives and thoughts, all parents would be insane.

Amy_MarkhamPL Jan 03, 2017

Another creepy, disturbing, and tightly plotted novel from Paul Tremblay, author of the terrific A Head Full of Ghosts. Tremblay blends together elements of horror, psychological thriller, and straight-up crime fiction. In his newest book, Tommy, a 13 year-old boy goes missing in the middle of the night while hanging out with his friends at a local landmark they've nicknamed Devil's Rock. While his mother and sister try to understand what is happening, pages from Tommy's diary start to mysteriously appear in the centre of their living room floor. Meanwhile, other residents of the town start to report a shadowy figure peering into their windows at night. Tommy's friends, Luis and Josh, begin to waver in their original account of what happened on the night of the disappearance. Soon connections start to emerge between the diary pages, the death of Tommy's father many years earlier, and a terrifyingly unhinged young man named Arnold.

Nov 08, 2016

For all my reviews, visit my blog Clues and Reviews

Fourteen-year-old Tommy Sanderson has vanished without a trace; he wandered into the woods of Borderland State park, home to the cursed “Devil’s Rock”, and never walked out. As Tommy’s mother, Elizabeth, frantically searches for answers, she begins being visited by an indistinct figure during the middle of the night and then pages from Tommy’s journal begin to appear on the floor of their home. The entries lead Elizabeth deeper and deeper into Tommy’s life and, soon, she realizes, that perhaps the son she knew so well, she may have never known at all. One thing is for certain, not a single person is prepared for the truth about what happened that night; the night Tommy disappeared at Devil’s Rock….

Paul Tremblay has done it again. I was very open to the fact that I loved A Head Full of Ghosts and my feelings were no different with this novel. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, the newest novel by Paul Trembley, was a flawless blend of supernatural horror, psychological suspense and a bit of crime fiction. It truly had a little bit of everything rolled up into one addicting read that packs a serious punch.

I am normally a huge fan of fast-paced, heart-racing thrillers. This novel, initially, was much slower than I was anticipating. The first chapters were antagonizing to read; painfully slow. As we move through the beginning (which focuses on Tommy’s disappearance and into the initial moments of the police investigation) I found myself continuously wanting to put this book down. I felt drained as I was reading. However, as soon as mysterious events began to unfold and Tommy’s journal entries begin making their appearance, I found myself reading faster and faster. I was so glad I continued reading. Trembley does a brilliant job at dropping breadcrumbs, building suspense and then taking the reader on a complete ride.

This one is narrated completely differently from other novels in this genre. We have perspectives from Elizabeth, the grieving mother. Tommy’s sister, Kate, gets a voice as she struggles to help her family and deal with her own grief. We hear from the small town officer leading the case (who knows the family personally). Tommy’s best friends, Josh and Luis, speak to the events that happened that night. And, the best part, we get to hear from Tommy through his diary pages.

Like Tremblay’s last work, the novel went into so many different directions. It focused firmly on the supernatural element and then switched gears to something completely different. I’m not really 100% sure where the horror element in this novel kicked in; I didn’t find myself “chilled” or particularly scared throughout any part of the novel. And if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t completely sold on the ending of this one; I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted but I know that I felt significantly underwhelmed.

Nonetheless, Tremblay is a master storyteller and this one is worth the read! If you are looking for a pure supernatural horror, this one may be one to skip; however, if you are on the search for a book filled with suspense and gives off eerie elements, then look no further! This one would be for you!

Oct 05, 2016

Meh. It was OK. The ending sucked. I didn't find it a "can't put it down book." I actually had to renew it a couple of times in order to get it finished.


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ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 21, 2019

“But ghosts aren't white and bright. Ghosts are shadows of someone or something gone wrong.”

ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 21, 2019

“All cats are assholes. It’s what makes them so cool.” “True.”


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