Thomas Olde Heuvelt, trans. from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier. Tor, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7880-4
Despite some emotional gut punches, Heuvelt’s supernatural thriller fails to fully capitalize on its intriguing premise. The New York town of Black Springs appears perfectly normal to the outside world, but is, in fact, subject to a curse. Katherine van Wyler was sentenced to death for witchcraft in 1664 after resurrecting her dead son. She has haunted Black Springs for centuries, and her whispers create suicidal thoughts in the minds of those who hear them. Leaving the town for more than a short time is not an option for residents, who would be compelled to kill themselves if they did so. The phenomenon even attracted the attention of the federal government, which established the military academy at West Point to help cover it up. Town residents are governed by strict rules imposed by the government, and even their Internet use is monitored and censored. The restrictions chafe the younger generation, whose rebellion threatens the status quo. Heuvelt (The Ink Readers of Doi Saket) develops his characters enough to give their tragic lives resonance, but the story’s resolution disappoints. Agent: Sally Harding, Cooke Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 04/26/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-6458-0
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7653-7881-1
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