cover image The Book of Accidents

The Book of Accidents

Chuck Wendig. Del Rey, $28.99 (544) ISBN 978-0-399-18213-6

Philadelphia police officer Nate Graves, the protagonist of this creepy supernatural thriller from bestseller Wendig (Wanderers), initially rejects his much-hated, abusive father’s dying wish that he buy his childhood house for $1 and then live there with his artist wife, Maddie, and their 15-year-old son, Oliver. The house in Upper Bucks County, Pa., holds horrible memories for Nate, but Oliver, an empath who feels others’ pain and fear, insists he needs a fresh start after being humiliated and bullied for his special ability. A vengeful ghost who may be Nate’s late father stalks the house, and nearby is the park that a serial killer used as a dumping ground before he vanished just as he was being executed. A boy’s penchant for black magic, a haunted train tunnel, and sculptures that come to life add to the eerie atmosphere. Wendig is strongest when concentrating on the Graveses' unshakable love for each other, but the complex plot frequently devolves into confusion and repetitive scenes. Horror fans will best appreciate this one. [em]Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary. (July) [/em]