The Missing

Sarah Langan, Author . Harper $6.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-087291-5

In her second novel, Langan delivers a powerhouse creepfest that recalls, in the best way possible, the early work of Stephen King. Corpus Christi, Maine, was once a town of affluence, but since the mysterious paper mill fire in the neighboring town of Bedford (depicted in last year’s well-received debut, The Keeper ) released dense sulfuric clouds that killed the surrounding forest, Corpus Christi has been in steady decline. When fourth-grade teacher Lois Larkin takes her class on a field trip to the now-abandoned Bedford, they’re exposed to a deadly virus that transforms the infected into ravenous, flesh-eating monsters. Rather than stick to zombie lit convention (mindless undead, endless chases), Langan invests her plague with a sinister intelligence of unknown origin, maintaining a skin-crawling tension as the vivid cast of characters succumb to murderous insanity, hunting down and tearing apart animals, neighbors and loved ones. Langan has the control of a pro, parsing just enough horrific details to allow the truly gruesome scenes to play out unbound in the imagination; this solid sophomore effort proves that The Keeper ’s disturbing ability to burrow into readers’ heads and stay there was no fluke. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/13/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-153626-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 416 pages - 978-0-06-153623-6
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-153620-5
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-184740-0
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