Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: BAD MAN by Dathan Auerbach
An engrossing horror novel which seems to start out carefully, but almost immediately segues into flat-out horror, from then on BAD MAN is non-stop horror, tragedy, grief, suspense, terror. There are no "normal" folks in this story (except perhaps Clint, Ben and Eric's father, store cashier Chelsea and a neighbor, James) but I think these are present more as a reflective backdrop in which we watch the dysfunctional, the villainous, the evil, and the barely-human abusers.
This novel is rife with the constant churning ups and downs which must be common in all cases of abducted or missing children, or runaways, when the child has not been located, either alive and recoverable, or deceased: the long durations without news, the mistaken or willfully intentionally false sightings, the unending grief, the fraying of family connections, the awareness that the loved ones left behind no longer hold a connection with "normals" (read: the unbereaved). But throughout the horror is unrelinquished and unmitigated. Throughout is the Shadow of the Store, in which or from which a joyful three-year-old boy "disappeared." Throughout is the oppressive influence and personality of Store manager Bill Palmer. There is something wrong in this quiet, almost backwater, North Florida town. There is something wrong at the Store. There is a lot wrong in the protagonist. In the end, who or what is the responsible, the culpable party--and why?
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