cover image The Devil Crept In

The Devil Crept In

Ania Ahlborn. Gallery, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8375-8

Lauded author Ahlborn (Within These Walls) delivers a beautiful and deftly wrought horror story of mothers, sons, and the delicate bond between cousins. Ten-year-old Stevie Clark of Deer Valley, Ore., is a word-salad stutterer with one friend in the world: his older cousin Jude. When Jude goes missing, Stevie is the only one who takes it seriously, and he knows the creepy house in the woods must be involved. Despite an uninterested town and his own fear, Stevie embarks on an investigation that convinces him there’s a monster lurking in the woods. The real horror comes when Jude abruptly returns and Stevie must accept that he may still have lost his friend. With sympathetic attention paid to the relationships between overwhelmed mothers and the sons they can’t save from evil, and prose that elegantly evokes tension while illustrating Stevie’s rich inner world, readers will be engrossed and thrilled right through to the chewy final twist. (Feb.)